EghtesadOnline: In the Iranian economy, political and ideological issues have become the prime concerns of economic decision-makers, which is a repeat of the Soviet Union experience and can take the economy into dangerous territory.
This was stated by Mahmoud Jamsaz, an economist, in an article for the Persian daily Shargh. What follows is a translation of the text:
Iran ranks eighth among 156 countries in the Misery Index. The index, first proposed by Arthur Okun, an American economist, is the sum of inflation and unemployment. One of the most important indicators of the economic, financial and welfare of a society, the Misery Index can be used to measure poverty.
Steve Hanke, a professor of applied economics at the Johns Hopkins University, later included the bank interest rate minus the percentage change in real GDP per capita to calculate the misery index.
According to the Statistical Center of Iran, the inflation rate was 40.2% and the unemployment rate 8.9% in the fiscal 2021-22, which puts the Misery Index at 49%. Inflation and unemployment stood at 36.4% and 9.7% in 2020-21, indicating that the index increased by four percentage points to stand at 45.1%.
In other words, Iranian people become poorer in 2021-22. Therefore, senior government officials should not mislead people by saying that the increase in the number of trips during the Norouz [Iranian New Year] holidays [March 21-April 2] is indicative of improvement in their economic conditions.