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International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This 2018 Article IV Consultation highlights that the real GDP growth of Iran is expected to reach 4.3 percent in 2017/18. In the first half of 2017/18, recovery broadened to the non-oil sector, aided by supportive fiscal and monetary policies and a recovery in construction and services activity. The unemployment rate declined to 11.7 percent in the first half of 2017/18, but remained particularly high for youth and women. Inflation averaged 9.9 percent during the first 11 months of 2017/18 aided by moderation in food prices and stable administered prices. Real GDP growth is expected to ease to 4 percent in 2018/19 and is forecast to average 4.5 percent over the medium-term.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

2018 Article IV Consultation - Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for the Islamic Republic of Iran

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

The lifting of nuclear sanctions under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) has spurred growth, but banking system weaknesses, structural bottlenecks, and hesitation by foreign banks to re-establish financial links have held back expansion of non-oil activity.

International Working Group on External Debt Statistics

Finance and Development, December 2016

Mr. Alberto Behar and Robert A Ritz
In November 2014, OPEC announced a new strategy geared towards improving its market share. Oil-market analysts interpreted this as an attempt to squeeze higher-cost producers including US shale oil out of the market. Over the next year, crude oil prices crashed, with large repercussions for the global economy. We present a simple equilibrium model that explains the fundamental market factors that can rationalize such a "regime switch" by OPEC. These include: (i) the growth of US shale oil production; (ii) the slowdown of global oil demand; (iii) reduced cohesiveness of the OPEC cartel; (iv) production ramp-ups in other non-OPEC countries. We show that these qualitative predictions are broadly consistent with oil market developments during 2014-15. The model is calibrated to oil market data; it predicts accommodation up to 2014 and a market-share strategy thereafter, and explains large oil-price swings as well as realistically high levels of OPEC output.
Mr. Kamiar Mohaddes and Mr. Mehdi Raissi
This paper investigates the global macroeconomic consequences of falling oil prices due to the oil revolution in the United States, using a Global VAR model estimated for 38 countries/regions over the period 1979Q2 to 2011Q2. Set-identification of the U.S. oil supply shock is achieved through imposing dynamic sign restrictions on the impulse responses of the model. The results show that there are considerable heterogeneities in the responses of different countries to a U.S. supply-driven oil price shock, with real GDP increasing in both advanced and emerging market oil-importing economies, output declining in commodity exporters, inflation falling in most countries, and equity prices rising worldwide. Overall, our results suggest that following the U.S. oil revolution, with oil prices falling by 51 percent in the first year, global growth increases by 0.16 to 0.37 percentage points. This is mainly due to an increase in spending by oil importing countries, which exceeds the decline in expenditure by oil exporters.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

This staff report for the 2014 Article IV Consultation on the Islamic Republic of Iran focuses on economic developments and policies. The IMF report had achieved considerable progress in raising per capita income and living standards. Large shocks and weak macroeconomic management have had a significant impact on macroeconomic stability and growth. The external environment remains uncertain and delaying domestic reforms raise the risk of entrenching the economy in a low-growth and high-inflation scenario, underscoring the need to address long-standing weaknesses in the policy framework and the economy.

Mr. Joshua Charap, Mr. Arthur Ribeiro da Silva, and Mr. Pedro C Rodriguez
The economic and environmental implications of energy subsidies have received renewed attention from policymakers and economists in recent years. Nevertheless there remains significant uncertainty regarding the magnitude of the impact of energy subsidies on energy consumption. In this paper we analyze a panel of cross-country data to explore the responsiveness of energy consumption to changes in energy prices and the implications of our findings for the debate on energy subsidy reform. Our findings indicate a long-term price elasticity of energy demand between -0.3 and -0.5, which suggests that countries can reap significant long-term benefits from the reform of energy subsidies. Our findings also indicate that short-term gains from subsidy reform are likely to be much smaller, which suggests the need for either a gradual approach to subsidy reform or for more generous safety nets in the short term.
Mr. Paul Cashin, Mr. Kamiar Mohaddes, and Mr. Mehdi Raissi
This paper analyzes spillovers from macroeconomic shocks in systemic economies (China, the Euro Area, and the United States) to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region as well as outward spillovers from a GDP shock in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and MENA oil exporters to the rest of the world. This analysis is based on a Global Vector Autoregression (GVAR) model, estimated for 38 countries/regions over the period 1979Q2 to 2011Q2. Spillovers are transmitted across economies via trade, financial, and commodity price linkages. The results show that the MENA countries are more sensitive to developments in China than to shocks in the Euro Area or the United States, in line with the direction of evolving trade patterns and the emergence of China as a key driver of the global economy. Outward spillovers from the GCC region and MENA oil exporters are likely to be stronger in their immediate geographical proximity, but also have global implications.
International Monetary Fund
The Iranian economy recovered on the strength of international oil prices, strong rebound in agricultural sector, and rapid credit expansion. Inflation was contained while fiscal and external positions improved. Key policy priorities are to maintain short-term macroeconomic stability, transition to a market-based economy to foster growth, and support job creation; and strengthen the financial sector. The economic reform strategy, anchored in privatization, reduction of the role of government, and market-based prices for energy and agricultural goods should help achieve higher growth and create jobs.