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Sudan Economy

    Economy—overview: Sudan is buffeted by civil war, chronic political instability, adverse weather, high inflation, a drop in remittances from abroad, and counterproductive economic policies. The private sector's main areas of activity are agriculture and trading, with most private industrial investment predating 1980. Agriculture employs 80% of the work force. Industry mainly processes agricultural items. Sluggish economic performance over the past decade, attributable largely to declining annual rainfall, has kept per capita income at low levels. A large foreign debt and huge arrears continue to cause difficulties. In 1990 the International Monetary Fund took the unusual step of declaring Sudan noncooperative because of its nonpayment of arrears to the Fund. After Sudan backtracked on promised reforms in 1992-93, the IMF threatened to expel Sudan from the Fund. To avoid expulsion, Khartoum agreed to make payments on its arrears to the Fund, liberalize exchange rates, and reduce subsidies, measures it has partially implemented. The government's continued prosecution of the civil war and its growing international isolation continued to inhibit growth in the nonagricultural sectors of the economy during 1998. Hyperinflation has raised consumer prices above the reach of most. In 1998, a top priority was to develop potentially lucrative oilfields in southcentral Sudan; the government is working with foreign partners to exploit the oil sector.

    GDP: purchasing power parity—$31.2 billion (1998 est.)

    GDP—real growth rate: 6.1% (1998 est.)

    GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$930 (1998 est.)

    GDP—composition by sector:
    agriculture: 33%
    industry: 17%
    services: 50% (1992 est.)

    Population below poverty line: NA%

    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%

    Inflation rate (consumer prices): 27% (mid-1997 est.)

    Labor force: 11 million (1996 est.)
    note: labor shortages for almost all categories of skilled employment (1983 est.)

    Labor force—by occupation: agriculture 80%, industry and commerce 10%, government 6%

    Unemployment rate: 30% (FY92/93 est.)

    Budget:
    revenues: $482 million
    expenditures: $1.5 billion, including capital expenditures of $30 million (1996)

    Industries: cotton ginning, textiles, cement, edible oils, sugar, soap distilling, shoes, petroleum refining

    Industrial production growth rate: 5% (1996 est.)

    Electricity—production: 1.315 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—production by source:
    fossil fuel: 27.76%
    hydro: 72.24%
    nuclear: 0%
    other: 0% (1996)

    Electricity—consumption: 1.315 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—exports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Electricity—imports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Agriculture—products: cotton, groundnuts (peanuts), sorghum, millet, wheat, gum arabic, sesame; sheep

    Exports: $594 million (f.o.b., 1997)

    Exports—commodities: cotton 23%, sesame 22%, livestock/meat 13%, gum arabic 5% (1996)

    Exports—partners: Saudi Arabia 20%, UK 14%, China 11%, Italy 8% (1996)

    Imports: $1.42 billion (f.o.b., 1997)

    Imports—commodities: foodstuffs, petroleum products, manufactured goods, machinery and equipment, medicines and chemicals, textiles (1996)

    Imports—partners: Saudi Arabia 10%, South Korea 7%, Germany 6%, Egypt 6% (1996)

    Debt—external: $20.3 billion (1996 est.)

    Economic aid—recipient: $254.4 million (1995)

    Currency: 1 Sudanese pound (�Sd) = 100 piastres

    Exchange rates: Sudanese pounds (�Sd) per US$1—1,819.70 (April 1998), 1,873.53 (2d Qtr 1998), 1,575.74 (1997), 1,250.79 (1996), 580.87 (1995), 289.61 (1994), 159.31 (1993)

    Fiscal year: calendar year
    note: prior to July 1995, Sudan had a fiscal year that began on 1 July and ended on 30 June; as a transition to their new fiscal year, a six-month budget was implemented for 1 July-31 December 1995; the new calendar year (1 January-31 December) fiscal year became effective 1 January 1996

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)