Reuters: Iran's annual inflation rate jumped by 1.7 percentage points to 24.2 percent in the year to April compared with the previous month, the central bank said.
TEHRAN, May 4 (Reuters) – Iran's annual inflation rate jumped by 1.7 percentage points to 24.2 percent in the year to April compared with the previous month, the central bank said.
The statistics highlight the economic problems facing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's government, under pressure from many lawmakers, media and the public over its failure to rein in rising inflation in the world's fourth-largest oil producer.
The central bank said on its website www.cbi.ir that prices rose by 3.1 percent in the Iranian month to April 19, pushing up the year-on-year rate to 24.2 percent.
Monthly prices rose 3.0 percent the previous month, to March 19, when the year-on-year rate reached 22.5 percent.
Average inflation was 19.1 percent for the 12 months to April 19 compared with the previous 12-month period, the central bank said.
Iran's inflation rate was about 12 percent in mid-2005, when the conservative president came to power pledging to share Iran's oil wealth more fairly.
But critics say profligate spending of petrodollars, combined with interest rates well below inflation, has further fuelled price pressures.
Conservatives retained their clear parliamentary majority in March election but analysts expect the assembly to become increasingly critical of Ahmadinejad's economic management ahead of next year's presidential election, when he is widely expected to stand for re-election.
Ahmadinejad has dismissed the criticism arguing rising inflation is a global problem and saying his government is tackling the issue.
Iran has reaped windfall gains in recent years from the high oil price on world markets and says its economy grows by more than 6 percent annually, despite tightening international sanctions on Tehran over its disputed nuclear plans.
Analysts, however, say the nuclear standoff is making foreign firms more wary of investing in the Islamic Republic.
Iran's central bank governor Tahmasb Mazaheri last week said money supply growth in the economy has slowed from a year ago, to 27.7 percent from 35 percent a year earlier. (Reporting by Zahra Hosseinian; Writing by Fredrik Dahl; Editing by Louise Heavens)