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Iran’s Lying Inflation Statistics

Economics / Inflation Jan 11, 2013 - 01:25 AM GMT

By: Steve_H_Hanke

Economics

Today, the Central Bank of Iran released its inflation statistics for 2012.  Remarkably, despite all of the international notoriety surrounding Iran’s outbreak of hyperinflation in October, the Central Bank claims that Iran experienced an annual inflation rate of only 27.4%.


The Central Bank has a habit of failing to release useful economic data, and what it does release often has what I would describe as an “Alice-in-Wonderland” quality. Indeed, the Central Bank’s official annual inflation rate is grossly off from the true rate. Using a well-established methodology, I estimate that Iran experienced an annual inflation rate of 110% during 2012.

Ever since hyperinflation briefly reared its head, back in October, the Iranian government has tried to prop up its faltering currency and stop its economy’s death spiral through force and deception.  In a sense, these oppressive tactics seem to have “worked,” as Iran’s inflation rate has fallen somewhat since it peaked in October 2012.  That said, Iran’s true annual inflation rate (110%) – which I calculated using objective, market-based data – is a whopping four times higher than the official reported rate.

The use of lying statistics is not a first for a country with hyperinflation. Indeed, when inflation begins to spiral out of control – such as the most recent cases in Zimbabwe and North Korea – it’s all too common for governments to wrap their statistics in a shroud of secrecy.

Now, this shroud of secrecy has cast its shadow over Tehran. Once again, lying statistics remain the order of the day.

By Steve H. Hanke

www.cato.org/people/hanke.html

Steve H. Hanke is a Professor of Applied Economics and Co-Director of the Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Prof. Hanke is also a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C.; a Distinguished Professor at the Universitas Pelita Harapan in Jakarta, Indonesia; a Senior Advisor at the Renmin University of China’s International Monetary Research Institute in Beijing; a Special Counselor to the Center for Financial Stability in New York; a member of the National Bank of Kuwait’s International Advisory Board (chaired by Sir John Major); a member of the Financial Advisory Council of the United Arab Emirates; and a contributing editor at Globe Asia Magazine.

Copyright © 2013 Steve H. Hanke - All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

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