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.
Andreas Jobst and Mr. Juan Sole
This paper provides a conceptual overview of key aspects of the design and implementation of solvency stress testing of Islamic banks. Based on existing regulatory standards and prudential practice, the paper explains how Islamic finance principles and their impact on various risk drivers affect the capital assessment of asset-oriented financial intermediation under stress. The formal specification of these risk factors helps operationalize and integrate the stress testing of Islamic banks within established frameworks for financial stability analysis.