Iraq Targets 5% Inflation Next Year

Iraq's Finance Minister told Reuters on Wednesday that the country is targeting inflation of 5 percent in 2012.

"I hope that in 2012, with some of the policies of the central bank, to control it (inflation) again to around 5 percent. For 2012, the target is 5 percent," Rafie al-Esawi [Rafi Hiyad al-Issawi, Rafia al-Issawi], pictured, said at a gathering of Arab finance ministers in United Arab Emirates capital Abu Dhabi.

Iraq's core annual inflation rate increased to 7.1 percent in July from 6.4 percent in June, driven mainly by higher housing rental prices.

"I don't think that inflation will increase ... It increased in the last few months to more than 6 percent. The central bank tried to move its policies, tried to control it back again," Esawi said.

The core annual inflation rate was not expected to exceed 7 percent in 2011 as the economy remained relatively stable, with a steady flow of goods and no unexpected government expenditure, a central bank official said in June.

(Source: Reuters)

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