October 11, 2018 / 4:52 PM / 5 days ago

UPDATE 1-Sudan's annual inflation climbs to 68.64 pct in Sept. - statistics agency

(Adds details, background)

KHARTOUM, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Sudan’s inflation edged up to 68.64 percent in September year-on-year from 66.82 percent in August, the state statistics agency said on Thursday.

Inflation jumped from 25.15 percent in December to more than 50 percent in January, after subsidy cuts triggered food price increases that kindled unrest. Since then inflation has continued to accelerate steadily despite attempts to slow price rises with strict limits on cash withdrawals.

Sudan’s economy has been struggling since the south of the country seceded in 2011, taking with it three-quarters of its oil output.

Sudan devalued its national currency this week under a new system to set the exchange rate on a daily basis, part of a package of measures introduced by the government to tackle the economic crisis.

The official rate was unchanged at 47.5 pounds to the dollar on Thursday, said Abdel Hamid Jamil, who heads the team that sets the rate, while the black market rate stood at 50 pounds to the dollar, unchanged from yesterday.

Jamil said the question of liquidity would be solved from Saturday, when the central bank starts pumping cash into banks.

The devaluation was the second in the past year. Hard currency shortages have restricted imports, and the lifting of U.S. sanctions on Sudan 11 months ago has so far failed to provide a boost to foreign investment. (Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz Writing by Sami Aboudi Editing by Gareth Jones and Peter Graff)

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