A senior Iraqi oil official says the country's crude oil exports in February reached their highest level since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.
Falah al-Amiri, the head of the state oil marketing organization, said on Tuesday that the oil exports averaged 2.202 million barrels a day. In January, Iraq's export averaged 2.161 barrels a day.
Al-Amiri told The Associated Press that the achieved price for per barrel ranged between $97-98, making revenues exceed $6 billion for February.
Iraq has struggled to raise oil exports, which account for 95 percent of its revenues, hampered by aging infrastructure, the effect of years of sanctions and periodic attacks on pipelines following 2003 invasion.
Meanwhile, Iraq's core annual inflation accelerated to 5.3 percent in January versus 3.3 percent in December due to higher electricity bills, a central bank official said on Tuesday.
Iraqis began receiving electricity bills containing 100 percent tariff increases last October following a government decision aimed at encouraging consumers to economize and help tackle the country's crippling power shortages.
The price doubled from 10 to 20 Iraqi dinars per kilowatt/hour for the first 1,000 KWH, or to the equivalent of less than $0.02.
However, a wave of protests across the region has encouraged Iraqis to protest over poor basic services and the Electricity Ministry last month moved to appease citizens by saying they would receive their first 1,000 kilowatt-hours of power for free each month.
Mudher Kasim, a senior advisor at the central bank, told Reuters core annual inflation for January would have been at 3.7 percent if the tariff had not been implemented.
"It was mostly affected by the new electricity tariff," he said.
The inflation rate is calculated by the COSIT statistics agency.
Iraq's economy, struggling to pull out of years of sectarian carnage that followed the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, is dominated by oil, which accounts for more than 95 percent of revenues. The bank defines core inflation as excluding expenditure on fuel.