22 March 2013

Sudan: Inflation Rises to 46 Percent in February

Khartoum — Sudan announced that inflation rate has risen to 46% in February compared to 43.5% in January amid expectations of continued commodity price increases in the coming days.

The head of the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBoS), Yasin Haj Abdin, disclosed the figures to reporters yesterday predicting more price increases.

"We expect a rise in commodity prices, but this increase does not necessarily mean an appreciation in inflation rates because the latter could fall down to lower rates without being impacted by commodity prices" Abdin said.

The official said that this process is linked to the Trilateral Economic Program and the eight commodities subsidized by the government pointing out that regional variations in commodity consumption makes CBoS say that inflation rates does not reflect reality on the ground.

Sudan lost 75% of its oil reserves after the southern part of the country became an independent nation in July 2011 denying the north billions of dollars in revenues. Prior to the country's breakup, Sudan produced close to 500,000 barrels but now its output is limited to 140,000 barrels per day. Oil revenue constituted more than half of the Sudan's revenue and 90% of its exports.

The two countries are increasingly cash-strapped after Juba shut down oil output a year ago in a furious row accusing Khartoum of stealing its crude amid disagreement over transit fees.

This week the two sides signed a deal by which they order their respective oil companies to prepare for restart of oil production in landlocked South Sudan which is exported through the north's pipelines.

Mohamed Eljack, a University of Khartoum's Professor of economics, said that the two countries should work on "saving millions of dollars spent on armaments and war and get ready for the resumption of oil exports to fully revive the economy".

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