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- GDP (PPP):
- $167.0 billion
- 3.5% growth
- 1.2% 5-year compound annual growth
- $4,344 per capita
- Inflation (CPI):
- FDI Inflow:
Grading of Sudan’s economic freedom has resumed in the 2017 Index, reflecting the improved availability and quality of key economic data. The petroleum sector provides some economic stability and foreign exchange earnings, but other parts of the economy are underdeveloped and face serious structural and institutional headwinds. Continued conflict with rebels and South Sudan promotes uncertainty and undermines investor confidence.
Poor governance and inefficient regulations impede further economic diversification. A large informal economy remains trapped by business regulations that inhibit registration and a rigid labor market that discourages formal hiring. High tariffs limit imports and protect domestic industry, and investment remains reserved largely for the hydrocarbon sector.
Omar Hassan al-Bashir has been president since 1989 after coming to power in a military coup. He faces two international arrest warrants based on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide in the Darfur conflict that has killed over 200,000 people and displaced over 2 million since 2003. Cross-border violence, political instability, poor infrastructure, weak property rights, and corruption hinder development. Following the secession of South Sudan in 2011, Sudan lost two-thirds of its oil revenue to the South. A June 2015 U.N. report of an upsurge of violence in Darfur has raised concerns that the conflict may be heating up again.
There is little respect for private property. The judiciary is not independent, and the legal framework has been severely hampered by years of political conflict. Sudan, one of the world’s most corrupt nations, was ranked 165th among the 168 countries surveyed in Transparency International’s 2015 Corruption Perceptions Index. Power and resources are concentrated in and around Khartoum, while outlying states are neglected and impoverished.
The top personal income tax rate is 10 percent, and the top corporate tax rate is 35 percent. The overall tax burden equals 5.2 percent of total domestic income. Government spending has amounted to 12.8 percent of total output (GDP) over the past three years, and budget deficits have averaged 1.8 percent of GDP. Public debt is equivalent to 68.9 percent of GDP.
The entrepreneurial environment is not conducive to private-sector development. The labor market remains underdeveloped, and much of the labor force is employed in the informal sector. Early in 2016, the government cut cooking gas, jet fuel, and fuel oil subsidies by ending a government monopoly over these products as global oil prices slid, opening the market to the private sector.
Trade is moderately important to Sudan’s economy; the value of exports and imports taken together equals 19 percent of GDP. The average applied tariff rate is 14.7 percent. International economic sanctions restrict investment, and state-owned enterprises distort the economy. A large portion of the population remains outside of the formal banking sector, and access to credit remains limited.