May 16, 2018 / 7:10 PM / 8 days ago

Sudan inflation rises to 57.65 pct in April

KHARTOUM, May 16 (Reuters) - Inflation in Sudan rose to 57.65 percent in April year-on-year from 55.60 a month before, the state statistics agency said on Wednesday, amid rising food prices and an ongoing fuel shortage.

Prices have continued to rise as the value of the Sudanese pound has renewed its fall on the black market, despite government measures to control spending and tighten liquidity.

The pound had, in recent months, appeared to show signs of recovery after two steep devaluations in January weakened its official value to about 31.5 pounds to the dollar from 6.7 pounds in late December.

However, as the government sought to strengthen its exchange rate, gradually tightening the band in which it is traded in banks, black market traders drove down the value of the currency once more.

The pound now trades at an average of 29.27 pounds to the dollar in banks, but traders say they sell U.S. dollars for around 37 pounds.

The government is targeting a sharp fall in inflation to 19.5 percent by the end of 2018 from 34.1 percent at the of end of 2017, and has often denied that it plans to float its currency.

Sudan has been largely cut off from international financing in the past decades due to U.S. sanctions which were lifted in October.

Since then, officials have been trying to lure investors to its economy, which has been struggling since the south seceded in 2011, taking with it three-quarters of the country’s oil output, the main source of foreign currency and government income. (Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz; Writing by Nadine Awadalla; Editing by Mark Potter)

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