Iranian Economy
Economy - overview: Iran's economy is marked by statist policies, inefficiencies, and reliance on oil and gas exports, but Iran also possesses significant agricultural, industrial, and service sectors. The Iranian government directly owns and operates hundreds of state-owned enterprises and indirectly controls many companies affiliated with the country's security forces. Distortions - including inflation, price controls, subsidies, and a banking system holding billions of dollars of non-performing loans - weigh down the economy, undermining the potential for private-sector-led growth. Private sector activity includes small-scale workshops, farming, some manufacturing, and services, in addition to medium-scale construction, cement production, mining, and metalworking. Significant informal market activity flourishes and corruption is widespread. Fiscal and monetary constraints, following the expansion of international sanctions in 2012 on Iran's Central Bank and oil exports, significantly reduced Iran's oil revenue, forced government spending cuts, and sparked a sharp currency depreciation. Iran’s economy contracted for the first time in two decades during both 2012 and 2013, and grew only slightly 2014. Iran continues to suffer from high unemployment and underemployment. Lack of job opportunities has prompted many educated Iranian youth to seek employment overseas, resulting in a significant "brain drain." In June 2013, the election of President Hasan RUHANI generated widespread public expectations of economic improvement and greater international engagement. In connection with ongoing international negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program the limited sanctions relief for Iran provided under the Joint Plan of Action of November 2013, helped to forestall the decline in the economy in 2014.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $1.334 trillion (2014 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $404.1 billion (2014 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 3% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $17,000 (2014 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 9.1%
industry: 40.7%
services: 50.3% (2014 est.)
Labor force: 28.4 million
note: shortage of skilled labor (2014 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 16.3%
industry: 35.1%
services: 48.6% (2013 est.)
Unemployment rate: 11.2% (2014 est.)
note: data are according to the Iranian Government
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.6%
highest 10%: 29.6% (2005)
Investment (gross fixed): 27.7% of GDP (2009 est.)
Budget: revenues: $60.46 billion
expenditures: $63.25 billion (2014 est.)
Public debt: 11.4% of GDP (2014 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 15.8% (2014 est.)
note: official Iranian estimate
Commercial bank prime lending rate: 11.3% (31 December 2014 est.)
Agriculture - products: wheat, rice, other grains, sugar beets, sugar cane, fruits, nuts, cotton; dairy products, wool; caviar
Industries: petroleum, petrochemicals, fertilizers, caustic soda, textiles, cement and other construction materials, food processing (particularly sugar refining and vegetable oil production), ferrous and non-ferrous metal fabrication, armaments
Industrial production growth rate: -5.8% (2012 est.)
Electricity - production: 225.8 billion kWh (2011 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 185.8 billion kWh (2011 est.)
Electricity - exports: 8.668 billion kWh (2011 est.)
Electricity - imports: 3.656 billion kWh (2011 est.)
Oil - production: 3.113 million bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - consumption: 1.755 million bbl/day (2008 est.)
Oil - exports: 1.322 million bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - proved reserves: 157.3 billion bbl (1 January 2014 est.)
Natural gas - production: 166.6 billion cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 162.2 billion cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 9.4 billion cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 5 billion cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 33.8 trillion cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
Current account balance: $15.41 billion (2014 est.)
Exports: $95.71 billion (2014 est.)
Exports - commodities: petroleum 80%, chemical and petrochemical products, fruits and nuts, carpets, cement, ore
Exports - partners: China 29%, India 11.9%, Turkey 10.4%, Japan 6.5%, South Korea 4.8% (2014)
Imports: $61.25 billion (2014 est.)
Imports - commodities: industrial supplies, capital goods, foodstuffs and other consumer goods, technical services
Imports - partners: UAE 30.6%, China 25.5%, Algeria 8.3%, India 4.6%, South Korea 4.4%, Turkey 4.1% (2014)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $110 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Debt - external: $10.17 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $43.5 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $4.045 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Exchange rates: Iranian rials (IRR) per US dollar - 25,780.2 (2014 est.), 18,414.4 (2013 est.), 12,175.5 (2012 est.), 10,616.3 (2011 est.), 10,254.18 (2010 est.)
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Update: This page was last updated on 10 November 2015
Sources: 1. CIA, The World Factbook, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ae.html
2. DIBNC Experts Team