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Iran Economy 1999

    Economy—overview: Iran's economy is a mixture of central planning, state ownership of oil and other large enterprises, village agriculture, and small-scale private trading and service ventures. President KHATAMI has continued to follow the market reform plans of former President RAFSANJANI and has indicated that he will pursue diversification of Iran's oil-reliant economy although he has made little progress toward that goal. In the early 1990s, Iran experienced a financial crisis and was forced to reschedule $15 billion in debt. The strong oil market in 1996 helped ease financial pressures on Iran and allowed for Tehran's timely debt service payments. Iran's financial situation tightened in 1997 and deteriorated further in 1998 because of lower oil prices. As a result Iran has begun to cut imports and fall into arrears on its debt payments.

    GDP: purchasing power parity—$339.7 billion (1998 est.)

    GDP—real growth rate: -2.1% (1998 est.)

    GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$5,000 (1998 est.)

    GDP—composition by sector:
    agriculture: NA%
    industry: NA%
    services: NA%

    Population below poverty line: 53% (1996 est.)

    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%

    Inflation rate (consumer prices): 24% (1998 est.)

    Labor force: 15.4 million
    note: shortage of skilled labor

    Labor force—by occupation: agriculture 33%, manufacturing 21% (1988 est.)

    Unemployment rate: more than 30% (January 1998 est.)

    revenues: $34.6 billion
    expenditures: $34.9 billion, including capital expenditures of $11.8 billion (FY96/97)

    Industries: petroleum, petrochemicals, textiles, cement and other construction materials, food processing (particularly sugar refining and vegetable oil production), metal fabricating, armaments

    Industrial production growth rate: 5.7% (FY95/96 est.)

    Electricity—production: 79.5 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—production by source:
    fossil fuel: 90.57%
    hydro: 9.43%
    nuclear: 0%
    other: 0% (1996)

    Electricity—consumption: 79.5 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—exports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Electricity—imports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Agriculture—products: wheat, rice, other grains, sugar beets, fruits, nuts, cotton; dairy products, wool; caviar

    Exports: $12.2 billion (f.o.b., 1998 est.)

    Exports—commodities: petroleum 80%, carpets, fruits, nuts, hides, iron, steel

    Exports—partners: Japan, Italy, Greece, France, Spain, South Korea

    Imports: $13.8 billion (f.o.b., 1998 est.)

    Imports—commodities: machinery, military supplies, metal works, foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals, technical services, refined oil products

    Imports—partners: Germany, Italy, Japan, UAE, UK, Belgium

    Debt—external: $21.9 billion (1996 est.)

    Economic aid—recipient: $116.5 million (1995)

    Currency: 10 Iranian rials (IR) = 1 toman; note—domestic figures are generally referred to in terms of the toman

    Exchange rates: Iranian rials (IR) per US$1—1,754.63 (January 1999), 1,751.86 (1998), 1,752.92 (1997), 1,750.76 (1996), 1,747.93 (1995), 1,748.75 (1994); black market rate: 7,000 rials per US$1 (December 1998); note—as of May 1995, the "official rate" of 1,750 rials per US$1 is used for imports of essential goods and services and for oil exports, whereas the "official export rate" of 3,000 rials per US$1 is used for non-oil exports and imports not covered by the official rate

    Fiscal year: 21 March—20 March

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    Revised 1-Mar-99
    Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)