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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
The economy has performed reasonably well in a complex environment. Growth slowed marginally in FY15/16, reflecting muted sentiment in an election year and adverse global and regional developments. Growth should nudge up in FY16/17 to 5 percent, low compared to past performance and regional peers. Credit to the private sector has stalled, and non-performing loans (NPLs) have increased, also reflecting domestic government arrears. The current account deficit is fully financed. The Shilling has stabilized after a sharp depreciation in 2015, and international reserve coverage remains adequate.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This 2016 Article IV Consultation highlights the rapid deterioration of economic conditions in South Sudan since the beginning of the civil conflict in late 2013. Real GDP growth declined by nearly 20 percent during 2015 and 2016, and annual inflation rose to about 550 percent in September 2016 before declining to 370 percent in January 2017. The medium-term outlook faces challenges and significant downside risks. Without significant progress toward peace and economic stabilization, the economic trajectory for South Sudan is highly unstable, and the country risks spiraling into a trap of deteriorating economic performance and worsening security with continued high humanitarian costs.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
After five years of civil conflict, the warring parties came to a peace agreement in September 2018. Until the COVID-19 crisis broke out, improved political stability and an uptick in international oil prices led to significant progress, with a rebound in economic growth, a decline in inflation, and a stabilization of the exchange rate. The COVID-19 pandemic is severely disrupting South Sudan’s economy, leading to a sharp decline in projected growth (-3.6 percent in FY20/21, about 10 percentage points below the pre-pandemic baseline) and a contraction of oil export proceeds—the main source of exports and fiscal revenue—which has given rise to urgent balance of payments needs and opened a large fiscal financing gap.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
Sudan, with the support of the international community, is implementing an ambitious reform program to address major macroeconomic imbalances and support sustainable, inclusive growth. A new transitional government was established in the wake of the 2019 revolution with the mandate to carry out sweeping reforms to reverse decades of economic and social decline. The government is pursuing a transformational reform agenda focused on: (i) achieving internal peace based on inclusion, regional equity, and justice; (ii) stabilizing the economy and correcting large macroeconomic imbalances; (iii) providing a foundation for future rapid growth, development, and poverty reduction; and (iv) improving governance and transparency.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This 2019 Article IV Consultation with Sudan discusses that regime change has created a window of opportunity for fundamental reforms to address major macro imbalances and lay the groundwork for inclusive growth. The economy is shrinking, fiscal and external imbalances are large, inflation is high, the currency is overvalued, and competitiveness is weak. The humanitarian situation is dire with large numbers of internally displaced people and refugees. US sanctions on trade and financial flows were revoked in October 2017, but Sudan remains on the state sponsors of terrorism list, which effectively discourages external investment and blocks progress toward both heavily indebted poor countries debt relief and the clearance of large arrears to the IMF. In this context, staff engagement has intensified to render the necessary policy and technical assistance to help the authorities seize this once-in-a-generation opportunity for reforms. There is broad agreement between the authorities and the IMF staff about the key reform priorities, however, the authorities have yet to put together a fully coherent and viable plan that enjoys broad public support and can plausibly attract adequate donor financing.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
South Sudan is a very fragile post-conflict country. After five years of civil conflict, the warring parties came to an agreement for power-sharing in September 2018 and formed a unity government in February 2020. However, peace remains fragile in the face of difficult humanitarian and economic conditions. Already very high levels of poverty and food insecurity have been exacerbated by severe flooding in recent months. The floods (the worst in 60 years) have killed livestock, destroyed food stocks, and damaged crops ahead of the main harvest season. South Sudan’s economy has been hit hard by lower international oil prices following the COVID-19 pandemic.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
Sudan, with the support of the international community, is seeking to implement an ambitious reform program to address major macroeconomic imbalances and support sustainable, inclusive growth. A new transitional government was established in the wake of the 2019 revolution with the mandate to carry out sweeping reforms to reverse decades of economic and social decline. The government is pursuing a transformational reform agenda focused on: (i) achieving internal peace based on inclusion, regional equity, and justice; (ii) stabilizing the economy and correcting the large macroeconomic imbalances; and (iii) providing a foundation for future rapid growth, development, and poverty reduction. The government has achieved important milestones, most prominently a peace agreement with almost all internal armed opposition groups in October 2020 to end 17 years of conflict. It has also agreed to ambitious reforms and policy adjustments in the context of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) Staff Monitored Program (SMP) that meets the Upper Credit Tranche (UCT) conditionality standard and an International Development Association (IDA) Development Policy Financing (DPF) operation. Furthermore, on December 14, 2020, Sudan was officially removed from the United States State Sponsors of Terrorism List (SSTL), ending almost three decades of international isolation. While positive changes are underway, political contestation over power sharing arrangements remains acute. It is critical for Sudan to take advantage of a still favourable political economy to tackle its macroeconomic imbalances and put itself on a sustainable development trajectory.