Sudan’s inflation tops 34% in July after U.S. defers sanctions ruling

by Reuters 0

Sudan’s annual inflation rate rose to 34.23 percent in July from 32.63 in June, the central statistics office said on Monday, partly reflecting the postponement of a U.S. decision on whether to lift economic sanctions permanently.

The Sudanese pound has weakened and prices have climbed since the United States said on July 11 it was deferring the sanctions decision for three months.

“The prices are increasing on a daily basis, and we can’t live like this. Our income is the same … and the government doesn’t care about the people, and we don’t know what will happen or what we should do to be able to live,” said Rabab Ahmed, a 38-year-old day labourer.

Sudan says it has complied with all U.S. demands for lifting sanctions over human rights and other issues, which have been in place for 20 years and have hobbled the economy.

Former U.S. President Barack Obama temporarily lifted the sanctions for six months in January, suspending a trade embargo, unfreezing assets and removing financial sanctions. But the United States said in June it was still “very concerned” about human rights.

Sudan’s economy has struggled since the south seceded in 2011, taking with it three-quarters of the country’s oil output, its main source of foreign currency and government income.

The government cut fuel and electricity subsidies in November in a bid to tighten its finances. Petrol prices rose by about 30 percent, leading to broader inflation.

Reporting by Khalid AbdelAziz; Writing by Arwa Gaballa; Editing by Mark Trevelyan