Central Bank of Iran (CBI) figures show that the Iranian economy grew by 6.2% in the quarter to March 21.
CBI figures published on Sunday showed that Iran’s gross domestic product (GDP) had reached 3,477 trillion rials ($99.3 billion) over the first calendar quarter.
The bank said that GDP without oil had reached 3,148 trillion rials ($89.9 billion), up 4.7 against quarter to March 2020.
CBI calculates the GDP against prices of base year 2016 when Iran’s currency rial was firm against international currencies.
One US dollar is currently priced at 270,000 against the Iranian rial, nine times the price reported in 2016.
Rail’s depreciation began in mid-2018 when the United States pulled out of an international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program and imposed sanctions on the country.
Coupled with the economic impacts of the coronavirus, the Iranian economy contracted for several quarters before it returned to the positive growth region in the quarter to September 2020.
CBI’s Sunday report said that the Iranian oil sector had expanded by 23.3% over the March quarter while manufacturing and mining had grown by 2.1% over the same period.
GDP in the agriculture sector had declined, however, after consecutive quarters of growth. The CBI blamed drought and lower output for a contraction of 0.9% reported in the sector over the first calendar quarter.
However, the services sector had recouped losses suffered over the previous quarters because of closures and lockdowns imposed by the Iranian government to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
CBI figures said Iranian services sector had expanded by 7.0% against the quarter to March last year when the sector had recorded a year-on-year decline of 2.5%.
Growth in the services sector was mainly a result of higher activity in haulage and transportation sectors as well as in retail, wholesale and health services, said the CBI report.