I was perusing the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook, released in April 2010, when a statistic jumped out at me. The rate of inflation in the Islamic Republic had fallen to 10.3% in 2009, from 25.4% the previous year.
What was going on? Had the Ahmadinejad administration shown more economic know-how than has been generally recognized? Most economists have faulted the government for runaway expenditure, low currency reserves, a moribund manufacturing base, a skewed balance of trade (especially if oil exports are taken out of the equation), rising unemployment…
I sought the opinion of two Iranian economists who wish to remain anonymous. They had, of course, already seen the figures and were not particularly surprised.