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Country Report Sudan September 2017

Country Report Sudan September 2017

  • September 2017
  • ID: 2557536
  • Format: PDF
  • The Economist Intelligence Unit


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Outlook for 2017-21

  • The National Congress Party (NCP) and Omar al-Bashir (or his potential successor, Bakri Hassan Saleh) are well placed to win the 2020 polls, given the lack of co-ordinated opposition and tight control of the state apparatus.
  • Rivalry and factionalism between South Sudan's rebel groups limits the existential threat that they pose to the South Sudanese government, but instability is set to persist throughout 2017-18.
  • Uncertainty over the possible lifting of some US sanctions will act as a constraint on investment. Sudan will continue to prioritise relations with Arab institutions and states in the short to medium term.
  • Sudanese real GDP growth will moderate after expansion of 4.7% in 2016. However, continued increases in solid private and government consumption will help to sustain growth at an annual average of 3.6% in 2017-21.
  • Inflation in Sudan will remain volatile but will slow in comparison with historical averages, to 7.2% in 2021, as local food supplies improve. Renewed monetisation of the fiscal deficit would lead to much higher rates, however.
  • The government is likely to revise down its import requirements given the unfavourable external environment; nonetheless, Sudan's current account will remain in deficit throughout the 2017-21 forecast period.


  • In late August a delegation of Sudanese rebels from the Nuba Mountains met with mediators from the African Union in Ethiopia. A split in the SPLM-N over leadership may complicate prospects for a comprehensive ceasefire.
  • In late August the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission, the body set up to monitor South Sudan's 2015 peace agreement, said that the agreement had made "little progress" in the two years since it was signed.
  • On August 30th South Sudan's parliament approved a budget for fiscal year 2017/18 (July-June). The budget reportedly envisages total spending of a little over US$350m, with most expenditure being used to pay salaries.
  • Sudanese export earnings totalled US$2.1bn in the first half of 2017, up by 43% on the year-earlier total of US$1.5bn, according to trade data released by the Central Bank of Sudan.
  • During a visit to Khartoum in late August China's deputy prime minister, Zhang Gaoli, announced US$160m in debt relief for Sudan-only a small proportion of the estimated US$10bn or more of Sudanese debt to China.
  • Ethiopia has signed an agreement to build facilities at the as yet undeveloped Port Sudan that could potentially handle up to half of Ethiopia's import volumes.

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