February 7, 2012 / 1:57 PM / 6 years ago

Sudan inflation rises to 19.3 pct in Dec, driven by food

KHARTOUM, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Annual inflation in Sudan accelerated to 19.3 percent in January from 18.9 percent in December as food costs rose, the government said on Tuesday.

The Arab-African country is battling an economic crisis and analysts say high food price inflation could stoke dissent against a background of high unemployment, a devalued local currency and U.S. trade sanctions.

Inflation has more than doubled since the government effectively devalued the Sudanese pound in November 2010 to curb black market activity -- a measure that had no success.

Month-on-month inflation was 3.5 percent in January, the Central Statistics Bureau said in its monthly bulletin. The costs of food -- the biggest component in the index -- rose by 4.1 percent in January compared to December.

Last month, the statistics bureau had put annual inflation at 18.1 percent in December, not 18.9 percent as reported on Tuesday.

Sudan’s economy has been hammered by the loss of 75 percent of the country’s 500,000 barrels a day of oil production when South Sudan seceded in July.

Both sides used to share oil revenues -- a lifeline for both economies. The South will have to pay fees but both sides have failed to reach a deal, prompting Khartoum to seize some oil after which Juba shut down its entire output of 350,000 barrels a day. (Reporting by Ulf Laessing; editing by Ron Askew)

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