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Sudan’s inflation continues to rise for eighth straight month

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A vegetable vendor waits for customers at his shop in Khartoum, Sudan May 12, 2011. (Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)
January 18, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s Central Bureau of Statistics (CBoS) on Wednesday reported that inflation jumped to 30,47% in December 2016 from 29,49 in November pointing to continued rise in food and energy price.

Last November, the government lifted fuel, electricity and drug subsidy in a bid to stop the surge in inflation and control the fall of Sudanese pound in the black market.

Also, Central Bank of Sudan introduced an incentive policy, increasing the exchange rate in commercial banks by 131%. As a result, the U.S. dollar exchange rate went up in banks to 15.8 SDG from the official rate of 6.5 SDG.

Following the CBoS decision, the dollar price went up and settled at 19,4 pounds on the black market.

However, after the U.S. decision to ease economic and trade sanctions imposed on the east African nation since 1997, the dollar price fell slightly in the black market and settled at 18,2 SDG.

In a move to reduce the demand for the U.S. dollar and protect domestic industry, the government banned import of frozen meat and fish and raised tariffs on a number of imports. However, these restrictions pushed inflation further high given the country is heavily dependent on imported goods.

Last month, the Sudanese parliament approved the 2017 budget expecting the deficit would reach 2,1% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) compared to 1,6% in 2016.
According to the budget, the growth rate would decline from 6,4% in 2016 to 5,3% and the targeted average inflation rate is 17%.

Sudan’s economy was hit hard since the southern part of the country declared independence in July 2011, taking with it about 75% of the country’s oil output.
The Sudanese pound has lost 100% of its value since South Sudan’s secession, pushing inflation rates to record levels given that country imports most of its food.

Ordinary citizens continue to complain from cost of living increases that impaired their access to basic commodities.

(ST)

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