Critics say profligate spending of petrodollars, combined with interest rates well below inflation, has further fuelled price pressures: Iran’s annual inflation rate jumped by 1.5 percentage points to 27.6 percent in August compared with the previous month, the central bank said. Rising prices and the government’s economic management in the world’s fourth-largest oil producer are likely to be a major battleground in next year’s election when President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is expected to run for a new term. The central bank said on its website www.cbi.ir that consumer prices rose by 1.8 percent in the Iranian month that ended on Aug. 21, pushing up the year-on-year rate to 27.6 percent.
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