January 11, 2018 / 11:05 AM / a year ago

Sudan inflation rises to 25.15 pct in December, statistics bureau says

A vender display fruits in Nyala market, during Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir visit to the war-torn Darfur region, in Nyala, Darfur, Sudan September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudan’s inflation rate rose to 25.15 percent in December from 24.76 percent in November, the country’s Central Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday.

Sudan devalued its currency and cut all wheat subsidies this month, in line with economic reforms the International Monetary Fund recommended last year. The cost of bread and electricity have since soared, leading to protests across the country.

Khartoum devalued its currency, the pound, to 18 against the U.S. dollar under the 2018 budget that took effect this month, from 6.7 Sudanese pounds for one dollar in 2017.

The black market exchange rate rose to over 30 pounds to one dollar this week.

The United States lifted 20-year-old sanctions on Sudan in October, but hard currency remains scarce in the formal banking system, forcing importers to resort to an increasingly expensive black market.

($1 = 18 Sudanese pounds)

Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz, writing by John Davison, editing by Larry King

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