July 20, 2018 (KHARTOUM) Sudan’s inflation rate has risen to 63,86% in June compared to 60,93 in May, reported the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBoS).
- U.S. dollar notes (Reuters/Athit Perawongmetha Photo)
In its monthly bulletin issued on Thursday, the CBoS pointed to the significant increase in the price of clothing and shoes at the beginning of the new school year.
It is noteworthy that the director of the Troubled Currencies Programme at Johns Hopkins University Steve Hanke said Sudan’s annual inflation rate measured for 6/13/18, was 111%.
The government seeks to achieve an average inflation rate of 19,5% by the end of the 2018 fiscal year compared to 34,1% in 2017.
Economic conditions in Sudan have been challenging since the secession of South Sudan in 2011 and the loss of the bulk of oil production and
The withdrawal of South Sudan oil has compounded the difficult external environment, including debt arrears, limited access to external financing, U.S. sanctions, and the withdrawal of correspondent bank relations.
POUND CONTINUES PLUMMET AGAINST DOLLAR
Meanwhile, the price of the US dollar increased on the black market in Khartoum on Thursday, settling at 40,5 Sudanese pounds.
Traders speaking to Sudan Tribune Thursday in central Khartoum said selling price of the US dollar settled at 47 pounds while purchase price reached 46,5 pounds compared to 42,5 last week.
They pointed out that the purchase price of the U.S. dollar that is being transferred into accounts abroad particularly in Dubai has reached 50 Sudanese pounds.
The same traders attributed price rise to the scarce supply and the growing demand for the dollar, expecting dollar price to continue to increase during the next few days.
Following an unprecedented increase in dollar price, the Sudanese authorities in November 2017 introduced new measures allowing for10-year prison term for anyone caught trading on foreign currency outside the banking system or approved institutions.
In February, the dollar price hit an all-time high on the black market as the Sudanese pound (SDG) declined to 42,00 per dollar. However, the dollar price declined after the crackdown on the Forex traders and stood at 32,00 for several weeks.
The Sudanese pound has lost more than 100% of its value since South Sudan’s secession in 2011, pushing inflation rates to record levels given that the East African nation imports most of its food.
In rare statements on Thursday, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning acknowledged an acute shortage of foreign exchange saying it has aggravated the economic crisis.
The State Minister of Finance Tarig Shalabi said his ministry would apply new measures to address the shortage in Forex including to cut import of non-essential goods
He also called for controlling government expenditure and increase exports, calling for the need to reform government institutions in order to effectively manage the economy.
The most recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) report indicated that Sudan’s gross international reserves remained very low in 2017 ($1.1 billion, 1¾ months of imports).