Middle East and Central Asia > Iran, Islamic Republic of

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H. Elif Ture and Ali Reza Khazaei
High and volatile inflation has been an endemic economic and social issue in Iran that has contributed to rising poverty and social tensions. For policymakers to effectively address the inflation problem, it is critical to understand its causes. This paper seeks to contribute to this endeavor by applying a vector error-correction model to study the short- and long-term determinants of inflation in Iran over the past two decades and identify policy options to curb it. Using quarterly data spanning 2004-2021, it finds that money growth drives inflation only in the long term, while currency depreciation, fiscal deficits, and sanctions (proxied by oil exports) drive inflation both in the short- and the long term. In the absence of a removal of US trade and financial sanctions that could significantly boost the rial, budget deficits will have to be adjusted to contain inflation, albeit gradually to avoid hindering the recovery. Over the medium term, strengthening the inflation targeting framework could help improve monetary transmission and contain inflation durably.
Mr. Maximilien Queyranne, Romain Lafarguette, and Kubi Johnson
This paper investigates inflation risks for 12 Middle East and Central Asia countries, with an equal share of commodities exporters and importers. The empirical strategy leverages the recent developments in the estimation of macroeconomic risks and uses a semi-parametric approach that balances well flexibility and robustness for density projections. The paper uncovers interesting features of inflation dynamics in the region, including the role of backward versus forward-looking drivers, non-linearities, and heterogeneous and delayed exchange rate pass-through. The results have important implications for the conduct of monetary policy and central bank communication in the Middle East and Central Asia and emerging markets in general.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper highlights the sources of payments problems in less developed countries. Growth in the industrial countries has a direct impact on the current account of the developing countries through its influence on both the prices and volumes of their exports. An increase in the real effective exchange rate is clearly a fundamental determinant of a deteriorating current account since, other things being equal, it tends to raise domestic demand for imports and to reduce foreign demand for exports.