Iran’s predictable budget. President Hassan Rouhani has presented parliament with a $113 billion budget for next year, and it is very much a product of the times. U.S. sanctions, drought and poor living conditions are taking a toll on the economy. According to the Statistical Center of Iran, gross national product grew by just 0.3 percent in the first half of the year (totaling $374 billion), down from 5.6 percent the previous year. Agriculture and industry contracted, though oil and services grew slightly. Inflation stands between 18 percent and 35 percent, depending on which estimates you believe. Yet Rouhani vowed to maintain state subsidies for water, electricity, fuel, education and health, all of which will cost some $90 billion, and to increase the budget of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to $6 billion – a 26 percent rise. (Iran’s overall defense budget, however, will shrink by 27 percent.) But Rouhani’s appropriations make sense; cutting certain subsidies led to
Daily Memo: Iran’s Budget, a Test of the Trade Truce, Optimism in India
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