Top 10 Things You Should Know About Iran's Hyperinflation

by: Cullen Roche

Here’s an interesting fact sheet via Steve Hanke, professor of economics at John Hopkins:

1. Iran is experiencing an implied monthly inflation rate of 69.6%.

  • For comparison, in the month before the sanctions took effect (June 2010), the monthly inflation rate was 0.698%.

2. Iran is experiencing an implied annual inflation rate of 196%.

  • For comparison, in June 2010, the annual (year-over-year) inflation rate was 8.25%.

3. The current monthly inflation rate implies a price-doubling time of 39.8 days.

  • For certain goods, such as chicken, prices may be doubling at an even faster rate.

4. The current inflation rate implies an equivalent daily inflation rate of 1.78%.

  • Compare that with the United States, where the annual inflation rate is 1.69%.

5. Since hyperinflation broke out, Iran’s estimated Hanke Misery Index score has skyrocketed from 106 (September 10) to 231 (October 2).

  • See the accompanying chart.

Click to enlarge

6. Iran is the first country in the Middle East to experience hyperinflation.

  • It is the seventh Muslim country to experience hyperinflation.

7. Iran’s Hyperinflation is the third hyperinflation episode of the 21st century.

  • The first was Zimbabwe, in 2008. The second was North Korea, whose episode lasted from 2009-11.

8. Since the sanctions first took effect, in July 2010, the rial has depreciated by 71.4%.

  • In July 2010, the black-market IRR/USD rate was very close to the official rate of 10,000 IRR/USD. The last reported black-market exchange rate was 35,000 IRR/USD (October 2nd).

9. At the current monthly inflation rate, Iran’s hyperinflation ranks as the 48th worst case of hyperinflation in history.

  • Iran currently comes in just behind Armenia, which experienced a peak monthly inflation rate of 73.1%, in January 1992.

10. The Iranian Rial is now the least-valued currency in the world (in nominal terms).

  • In September 2012, the rial passed the Vietnamese dong, which currently has an exchange rate of 20,845 VND/USD.