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Iran's 'Misery Index' Up As Production And Oil Exports Crash


File photo - Tehran bus drivers, retirees and students protest over their incomes, which are below the poverty line.

In its latest report the Statistical Center of Iran (SCI) says that the "misery index" in the country reached 39% last winter, whereas a year earlier it stood at 19.4%.

Misery index is an informal measure of the state of an economy generated by adding together its rate of inflation and its rate of unemployment.

Based on the SCI report, the unemployment rate in Iran was 12.1%, while the inflation rate soared to nearly 19.4% in the last quarter of last Iranian calendar year (December 2018-March 2019).

Meanwhile, the inflation rate soared further in the first quarter of the new Iranian calendar year (beginning March 21, 2019) reaching 37.6%. The inflation rate is expected to surge more, reaching 15.4%. in 2019, and 19.4% in 2024.

The income of millions of workers now is around $100 monthly, well below the country's poverty-line estimates; a direct result of the national currency losing value.

Independent economists and international bodies have a much higher estimates of both unemployment and inflation in Iran.

One reason for the low official unemployment figures is that Iran counts one hour of work weekly as employment.

Iran’s economy is expected to shrink for the second consecutive year and inflation could reach 40 percent, an International Monetary Fund senior official said last April.

Therefore, the misery index in Iran is expected to gain even more momentum in coming months.

Since Washington's withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers, the Islamic Republic has been struggling with an unprecedented chaotic economic situation.

President Donald Trump’s decision to push Iranian oil exports to zero has deprived the Islamic republic of its significant income.

Before the imposition of U.S. sanctions, Iran used to produce more than 3.8 million barrels of oil per day, and export 2.5 million barrels of crude oil.

According to the latest data, Iran's oil production has dropped to 2.2 million barrels per day, while its crude and gas condensates export have dropped to nearly 200,000 to 300,000 barrels per day.

Therefore, Iran has lost almost 90 percent of its oil export revenues.

In the meantime, SCI says that Iran's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) last winter dropped by nearly 8.4% compared with the previous year.

Moreover, economic growth, disregarding oil, also shrank to -4.1%.

Based on World Bank estimates, Iran's economic growth is expected to shrink more, reaching -6% in coming months.

International data, including OPEC's, also show that Iran's oil production has dropped by nearly 550,000 barrels per day in the spring, compared with last winter.

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