An economic expert expects a steady surge in inflation in the coming months. “The true figures of the inflation are much beyond the statistics published by the Central Bureau of Statistics this week.”
Dr Sidgi Kabello told Radio Dabanga that the rise can be attributed to the economic decisions issued by the government in November last year. He doubts the government's claims on inflation in Sudan and Tuesday's report of the Central Bureau of Statistics.
The bureau reported that the annual inflation rate rose to 32.86% in January, compared to 30.47% in December, owing to the continued rise of food and energy prices after subsidies were cut three months ago.
Kabello: “To reduce the inflation the government should restore the value of the Sudanese Pound and prepare for this summer's planting season, in order to increase its exports and domestic consumption by doubling outputs.”
The import of certain types of consumer goods was increased last October, following a measure by the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank to curb the fast rise of the US Dollar. The ongoing shortages of hard currency at the Central Bank have continued to push the black market rate of the US Dollar upwards.
Kabello urged the government to reduce these “imports of unnecessary items”, in order to lower the foreign currency exchange rates. “This would have a positive impact on the prices of essential goods and production inputs.”
Imported items include lime, used for bleaching sugar, in large quantities, despite its broad availability of lime ores in Sudan, the Director-general of the Geological Research Institute said in a recent statement.
According to President Omar Al Bashir at the time, the economic reform programme and the increase of imports was needed “to avoid the collapse of the country”.
Kabello added that the government could not apply scientific solutions of reducing money supply or stop with borrowing from the banking system, because of a large budget deficit.
Foreign currency traders at Khartoum’s ‘parallel market’ told this station last month that the US Dollar increased to SDG 17.5-17.7 over the weekend, after a short drop in January.