December 24, 2017 / 4:46 PM / 6 months ago

Sudan's 2018 budget estimated at $24.7 billion: SUNA

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudan’s draft budget for 2018 is estimated at 173.1 billion Sudanese pounds ($24.7 billion), state news agency SUNA quoted Finance Minister Othman Rukabi as saying at an emergency parliamentary session on Sunday.

The Sudanese pound, held at an official level of 6.7 to the dollar, has steadily weakened to more than three times that rate on the black market after the United States lifted a 20-year-old trade embargo.

The import-dependent country hopes to see its economy grow by 4 percent in 2018, the cabinet said on Wednesday after it approved next year’s proposed budget.

The government in November said it would take new measures to unify the Sudanese pound’s exchange rates by January, but ruled out a currency float.

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

($1 = 6.9982 Sudanese pounds)

Reporting by Omar Fahmy; Writing by Nadine Awadalla; Editing by Dale Hudson

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