The International Monetary Fund projects that Iran’s economy will contract by 11% this year.

In a report released on Wednesday, the IMF forecast that GDP will be about $439.2 billion this year, compared to $491 billion last year.

In October, the IMF assessed that the Islamic Republic’s GDP would decline 9.5% in 2019, revising this in the latest report to a fall of 7.6%.

However, the Fund had predicted last autumn that the economy would flatline at 0% growth in 2020.

See also Iran Daily, Oct 16: Economy to Shrink Almost 10% This Year — IMF

Wednesday’s report also had worrying news over Iran’s debt. It is expected to rise to $148 billion, 33.8% of GDP.

The IMF said Iranian imports will far exceed exports this year, amid a sharp drop in oil exports and US sanctions.

Exports will fall to $46 billion, a drop of almost 20% from 2019 and almost 60% from 2017. Imports are expected to rise to $64.6 billion, up more than 11%.

Economists project that the Islamic Republic’s foreign exchange reserves will decline to about $85 billion this year, a fall of 19%, and to $69.1 billion in 2021.

Amid the Coronavirus crisis, Iran has asked the IMF for a $5 billion loan. The Trump Administration has said that it will block the request.

On Thursday the Health Ministry raised Iran’s official death toll from the virus to 4,869, an increase of 92 in 24 hours. There are 77,995 confirmed cases, with 3594 patients in critical condition.