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10-28-2010, 01:01 PM
Iraq inflation may surge



BAGHDAD: Iraq's annual inflation rate may rise to a high of 3.9 per cent over the next six months as spending increases on rebuilding the country, a central bank adviser said.
Mudher Kasim said that the official unemployment rate had slipped to 15 per cent from 18pc.
"If the political situation settles down and creates a new government that starts to spend on projects, (and) the security situation is good, there may be some little rise in the (inflation rate) but under control," Kasim said, projecting a high of up to 3.9pc.
Core inflation was unchanged at 1.9pc in September.
Kasim, who participates in the central bank's monthly policy meetings, said the central bank had around $50 billion in reserves currently, with 45pc held in dollars, 45pc in euros and 10pc mainly in gold and British pounds