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Central Bank is muzzled on its inflation statistics.

The Central Bank did not published an inflation report this month, when it was expected to record inflation at an annual rate above 40 percent.

There has long been a battle between the Central Bank and the Statistical Center of Iran, with the Statistical Center saying it ought to be the body issuing such statistics and not the Central Bank.

The Bank said it was not issuing a report this month in order to improve collaboration with the Statistical Center and reduce discrepancies between their monthly calculations.

On January 8, the council that oversees the Statistical Center said the Central Bank has no authority to issue inflation statistics and must halt its publication to avoid duplicative statistics. But the issue isn't that the statistics are duplicative, but that they are different.

The silencing of the Central Bank sparked fears that the regime has now extended censorship to the inflation rate.

Javad Hossainzadeh, deputy chief of the Statistical Center, said Central Bank governors are subject to dismissal if they allow too much inflation, so they should not be in charge of publishing the figures by which they are judged.

There is a great deal of logic to that--except that the Central Bank's monthly inflation rate is routinely higher than the figure published by the Statistical Center.

For the month of Aban, ending November 21 and the last month for which the Central Bank issued statistics, the Central Bank said inflation hit 39.9 percent while the Statistical Center reported inflation at 34.9 percent, a huge discrepancy of 14 percent.

The Statistical Center said in only 3 percent of the world's countries are Central Banks responsible for issuing inflation statistics, naming Honduras, Paraguay, Monaco, Eritrea and Libya as examples.

The Statistical Center said it surveys 357 urban areas and 365 rural areas to measure the inflation rate, while the Central Bank only checks in 39 cities. Two ways to look at inflation

Caption: SILENCE--This is last month's inflation report from the the Central Bank. There is no update.

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Publication:Iran Times International (Washington, DC)
Date:Jan 25, 2019
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