EghtesadOnline: The World Bank expects Iran’s economy to bounce back from negative growth in 2021 with 1.5% expansion in gross domestic product.
In its latest Global Economic Prospects report published in 2021, the bank estimated the economy shrank 3.7% in 2020.
The new forecast and estimate show -0.6% and 1.6% changes compared to June 2020 projections.
The World Bank also expects the growth to increase to 1.7% in 2022.
According to the new report, the Iranian economy saw -6.8% and -6% growth in 2019 and 2018.
“Growth in the Islamic Republic of Iran is expected to recover due to rebounds in domestic consumption and tourism, and moderating disruptions from Covid-19,” the report reads.
The International Monetary Fund also expects Iran's economy to return to growth in 2021.
In its latest World Economic Outlook report, the IMF forecasts 3.2% growth for Iran's GDP this year.
2020 estimate by the international organization, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is at -5%.
According to IMF, the Iranian GDP contracted by 6.5% in 2019.
The previous World Economic Outlook report the real GDP to register a 3.1% growth in 2021 after a contraction of -6% in 2020. It said the Iranian economy shrank by -7.6 in 2019.
"The Covid-19 pandemic is inflicting high and rising human costs worldwide. Protecting lives and allowing healthcare systems to cope have required isolation, lockdowns and widespread closures to slow the spread of the virus. The health crisis is, therefore, having a severe impact on economic activity. As a result of the pandemic, the global economy is projected to contract sharply by –3% in 2020, much worse than during the 2008–09 financial crisis. In a baseline scenario, which assumes that the pandemic fades in the second half of 2020 and containment efforts can be gradually unwound, the global economy is projected to grow by 5.8% in 2021 as economic activity normalizes, helped by policy support," reads the previous report.
"There is extreme uncertainty around the global growth forecast. The economic fallout depends on factors that interact in ways that are hard to predict, including the pathway of the pandemic, the intensity and efficacy of containment efforts, the extent of supply disruptions, the repercussions of the dramatic tightening in global financial market conditions, shifts in spending patterns, behavioral changes [such as people avoiding shopping malls and public transportation], confidence effects and volatile commodity prices. Many countries face a multi-layered crisis comprising a health shock, domestic economic disruptions, plummeting external demand, capital flow reversals and a collapse in commodity prices. Risks of a worse outcome predominate."
Iran’s economic growth (using 2011 as the base year) turned from negative to positive in the first half of the current fiscal year (March 20-Sept. 21), Central Bank of Iran Governor Abdolnasser Hemmati wrote in an Instagram post.
“Economic growth, excluding oil, stood at 1.4% and when factoring in the oil sector it hit 1.3% in the first six months of the current year compared with the same period of last year,” he said.
“Economic growth, including oil sector, stood at -2.9% and 5.1% in the first and second quarters of the current year respectively.”
Iran’s gross domestic product, excluding oil sector, saw a contraction of 0.6% in Q1 but an expansion of 3.2% in Q2, according to the CBI chief.
His comments came after the Statistical Center of Iran said Iran’s gross domestic product saw a contraction of 1.9% in H1. Economic growth, excluding oil, stood at -1.3%.
A sectoral breakdown of growth rates in the report shows that only the “agriculture” and “industries and mining, excluding oil” sectors experienced growth with 1.7% and 2% respectively. “Industries and mining” contracted 0.7% and “services” sector contracted 3.5%.
SCI also reported economic growth in the second quarter of the current year (June 21-Sept. 21): Iran’s GDP expanded 0.2% in Q2 while it shrank 0.2% without considering oil sector. The “agriculture” sector saw a 2.7% expansion; “industries and mining” 4% while “industries and mining sector, excluding oil” expanded 4.2%. The “services” sector, however, contracted 3% in Q2.
According to SCI, gross domestic product saw a contraction of 3.5% during the first quarter of the current fiscal year (March 20-June 20, 2020) compared to the corresponding period of last year. Economic growth, excluding oil, stood at -1.7%.
A sectoral breakdown of growth rates in the report shows only the agriculture sector experienced growth with a meager rate of 0.1%. The industries and services sectors contracted by 4.4% and 3.5% respectively.
Iran’s economy shrank by 6.9% in the last fiscal year (March 2019-20). Excluding the oil sector, the rate stood at -0.5%.
Only the agriculture sector experienced growth with 2.8% last year. The sectors of industries and services saw contractions of 14.7% and 0.7%, respectively.
The Central Bank of Iran has come up with different numbers.
According to CBI chief, Iran's gross domestic product contracted by 2.8% during the first quarter of the current fiscal year (March 20-June 20) compared with the corresponding period of last year
“A sectoral breakdown of growth rates shows the agriculture sector experienced 3.8% growth, and the industries and mining sector expanded by 2.5%, but the services sector contracted by 1.6%, which was quite predictable following the outbreak of coronavirus and restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of the disease,” he wrote in an Instagram post.
Hemmati also put Q1 economic growth, excluding oil production, at -0.6%.
Iran’s economy is recovering from the pandemic shock.
Compared with sanctions-free countries, which only had to deal with the coronavirus, Iran’s economic performance is promising, he added.
Discrepancies were also seen in SCI and CBI reports on Iran's economic growth in the last fiscal year (March 2019-20).
According to SCI, the Iranian economy experienced a -7% contraction in fiscal 2019-20, such that GDP shrank by -0.6%, excluding oil production.
The sectors of "industries and mines" and "services" saw respective contractions of 14.7% and 0.3%.
This is while the CBI governor put last fiscal year's growth at -6.5%. Excluding the oil sector, he put the growth at 1.1%.
According to Hemmati, the oil sector shrank by 38.7% amid sanctions on Iran's oil sales.
The sectors of ‘agriculture’ and ‘industries and mines’ saw a respective growth of 8.8% and 2.3% as services contracted by 0.2%, he added.
Iran's gross domestic product shrank by 4.9% in the fiscal 2018-19 compared to the year before, according to SCI, with production of the two groups of "industries" and "agriculture" at -9.6% and -1.5% respectively and the services at 0.02% growth.
The center put that year's growth, without taking oil production into account, at -2.4%.
CBI did not release any report of the fiscal 2018-19 economic growth rate.
Iran’s economy emerged from recession in the fiscal 2014-15 with a 3% growth after two years of recession when the economy contracted 5.8% and 1.9% back to back, according to the Central Bank of Iran.
Growth in 2015-16 has been put at -1.6% by CBI and 0.9% by SCI.
CBI has put 2016-17 growth at 12.5% while SCI says it was much lower and near 8.3%.