The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) released its 9-month economic performance report on February 10, which shows an unprecedented budget deficit.

The statistics are based on Iran’s fiscal year, which started March 21, 2018.

CBI says the Iranian government had projected 244 trillion rials ($5.8 billion, based on official USD rate: $1/42,000 rials) budget deficit for the first nine months of year (March 21-December 22), but the actual deficit value is 451 trillion rials ($10.73 billion).

Every year, the budget law predicts a certain amount of income from bonds and privatization to compensate for the budget deficit, but in the current year, the actual deficit level is twice that of the budget forecast.

At first glance, it may seem that U.S. sanctions on Iran’s oil exports led to this deficit, which is unprecedented historically, but the details of CBI report show that the country’s oil income was even above budget forecast during the period, thanks to rising oil prices during 2018.

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