October 19, 2011 / 6:23 AM / in 6 years

South Sudan inflation jumps to 61.5 pct in September

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - South Sudan’s annual inflation rate accelerated to 61.5 percent in September from 57.1 percent in August on a surge in food prices, the new African nation said.

South Sudan became independent on July 9 under a 2005 peace agreement with its former civil war foe, Khartoum, but has been struggling to build up state institutions and contain tribal and rebel violence that has killed 3,000 people this year.

Month-on-month inflation accelerated by 0.8 percent in September, driven by higher costs for household goods and furniture, the national bureau of statistics said on its website.

The bureau blamed September’s inflation rise on a 65.3 percent increase in costs for food, the biggest component. Household equipment costs rose by 108.9 percent.

Landlocked South Sudan has been hit hard by a temporary closure of the joint border with north Sudan from which its buys much of its food and other needs.

Both countries reached a border agreement to facilitate travel last month, but a lack of trade agreements and joint banking system has hampered bilateral trade.

Last month, the United Nations warned Sudan would face food shortages from next year as agricultural production was hit by violence and heavy rains.

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