The latest statistics reveal a concerning trend: the misery index across the villages of 17 provinces in Iran surpasses the national average. Data from Echo Iran indicates a significant rise in misery levels across the villages of 15 provinces, indicating a worrying trend that spans nearly half of Iran’s rural areas.

Yazd province emerges as the frontrunner in this distressing scenario, with a staggering misery index of 61.8 units, marking a notable increase compared to previous years. The poverty index in Yazd province has surged by 10.31 points, soaring from 51.45 units in fall 2022 to 61.77 units in fall 2023. The rural regions of Yazd province are grappling with an annual inflation rate of 56.4% and an unemployment rate of 5.4%.

Similarly, provinces like Razavi Khorasan, Hamedan, and Isfahan have witnessed significant spikes in their village poverty indices. However, the report highlights a relative alleviation of misery in the villages of Semnan province compared to the national average.

The misery index, a composite measure derived from the sum of unemployment and inflation rates, serves as a crucial gauge of economic hardship within a society. The escalation of Iran’s inflation rate has directly contributed to the surge in the misery index. As inflation continues to surge, economic stability wavers, and ordinary citizens grapple with mounting challenges in sustaining their daily livelihoods.

Forecasts indicate a continued uptrend in Iran’s misery index, with economists from the regime anticipating worsening disparities in 2024 and a potential surge in inflation. While the regime projects a modest inflation rate of 40% for the upcoming year, independent economists paint a bleaker picture, suggesting that inflation could exceed 60% in 2024.

The regime attributes the root cause of inflation to escalating wages and labor costs. However, economists argue that wages represent only a fraction of production costs in Iran’s economy.

In a recent commentary published in the state-run daily Donya-e Eghtesad, economist Alinaqi Mashayekhi outlined Iran’s economic woes, citing soaring inflation nearing 40% and persistently high unemployment rates. He underscored the diminishing purchasing power of Iran’s middle and lower-class segments, exacerbated by a decade-long decline in national gross investment and a depreciating exchange rate.

The regime tries to portray a semblance of control over inflation, exerting pressure on statistical institutions to publish data that align with its narrative. The dismissal of the former head of the Iranian Statistics Center is speculated to be linked to this issue.

However, reports from Iran’s Open Data contradict the regime’s claims, revealing a sharp increase in price indices during President Ebrahim Raisi’s tenure, nearly equivalent to the total inflation witnessed in the last 15 years of Shah’s dictatorship.

Unemployment serves as another pivotal factor influencing the misery index, as higher unemployment rates translate to reduced incomes and heightened economic distress among the populace. Despite the regime’s assertions of decreasing unemployment rates, transparency and verifiability remain dubious.

The Ministry of Cooperation, Labor, and Social Welfare asserts a decline in the overall unemployment rate from 8.9% to 7.6%, accompanied by a reduction in underemployment. However, scrutiny reveals that this decline may be attributed to individuals giving up on job searches, thus rendering them inactive in the labor force.

While the regime boasts about job creation efforts, the reality for many citizens, particularly the youth, paints a starkly different picture, characterized by frustration and despair in the pursuit of gainful employment.

Despite attempts to manipulate statistics, the prevailing trend of increasing poverty indices, even in rural areas, underscores the worsening economic conditions faced by ordinary Iranians. Projections hint at a steepening trajectory, with the 60% inflation rate anticipated by some experts looming ominously on the horizon, poised to impact households across the nation sooner than expected.

Source » irannewsupdate