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Sudan’s inflation rate on the rise

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December 8, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - The Central Bureau of Statistics in Sudan announced that the inflation rate rose to 42.6% in November over the 40.3% recorded the month before.

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FILE - A man selling eggs waits for customers at the market in Khartoum, Sudan (REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)

The governmental body also noted that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the first 11 months of 2013 was up 36% compared to 33.78% during the same period last year.

Despite a general increase in prices of all commodities surveyed with varying degrees, the prices of meat, fruits and sea food were down by 1.9%, 2.7% and 0.8% respectively.

Prices for the mineral water and soft drinks rose by 10.5% ; coffee, tea and cocoa by 6.8% ; milk, cheese and eggs by 3.8%; vegetables by 3.1%.

Sudan imports most of its food from abroad which uses up a large chunk of its foreign exchange reserves.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in a report on Sudan last month that 2013 inflation rate is expected to be 32.1% compared to 35.1% in 2012.

It noted the weakened exchange rate of the Sudanese pound relative to the US dollar as a reason behind the double digit inflation rate.

The Sudanese pound has lost more than half its value since the oil-rich south seceded in July 2011, pushing inflation rates to record levels given that the East African nation imports most of its food.

It is also likely that the inflation reflects the government decision in late September to lift fuel subsidies which caused prices of gasoline and diesel to increase by almost 100%.

A gallon of gasoline now costs 21 Sudanese pounds ($4.77 based on official exchange rate) compared to 12.5 pounds ($2.84). Diesel also went from 8 pounds ($1.81) a gallon to 14 pounds ($3.18).

Cooking gas cylinders are now are priced at 25 pounds ($5.68) from 15 pounds ($3.40).

The government also devalued its currency from 4.4 pounds to the dollar to 5.7.

(ST)

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