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- GDP (PPP):
- $176.1 billion
- 3.5% growth
- 2.3% 5-year compound annual growth
- $4,447 per capita
- Inflation (CPI):
- FDI Inflow:
Sudan’s economic freedom score is 49.4, making its economy the 161st freest in the 2018 Index. Its overall score has increased by 0.6 point, with improvements in labor freedom and trade freedom offsetting a steep decline in investment freedom. Sudan is ranked 37th among 47 countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, and its overall score is below the regional and world averages.
The 2018 Index marks the second year of resumed grading of Sudan’s economic freedom after years of protracted social conflict and civil war that undermined investor confidence. The petroleum sector provides some economic stability, but other sectors of the economy face serious structural and institutional deficiencies. Greater fiscal constraints may reduce future financial support from the Gulf Arab states. Poor governance, weak rule of law, rigid labor markets, and an inefficient regulatory regime have impeded economic diversification and created a large informal economy.
Islamic-oriented military regimes have dominated Sudanese politics since independence from Anglo–Egyptian rule in 1956. Omar Hassan al-Bashir, president since 1989, came 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 since 2003. The government has selected Hassan Saleh as its first prime minister in nearly 30 years. The oil sector had driven much of Sudan’s GDP growth since 1999, but following the secession of South Sudan in 2011, Sudan lost two-thirds of its oil revenue. Close to half of the population is at or below the poverty line and reliant on subsistence agriculture.
Protection of property rights is problematic. The judiciary lacks independence, and years of political conflict have severely hampered the legal framework. Sudan, one of the world’s most corrupt nations, was ranked 170th among the 176 countries surveyed in Transparency International’s 2016 Corruption Perceptions Index. Corruption is widespread at all levels of government.
The top personal income tax rate is 10 percent, and the top corporate tax rate is 35 percent. The overall tax burden equals 9.0 percent of total domestic income. Over the past three years, government spending has amounted to 12.5 percent of total output (GDP), and budget deficits have averaged 1.7 percent of GDP. Public debt is equivalent to 64.2 percent of GDP.
There are few opportunities for entrepreneurial activity, at least within the formal economy. The labor market remains underdeveloped. A large share of the workforce is employed in the informal agriculture sector. The government has already cut cooking gas, jet fuel, and fuel oil subsidies and plans to end all food and fuel subsidies by 2019.
Trade is moderately important to Sudan’s economy; the combined value of exports and imports equals 22 percent of GDP. The average applied tariff rate is 11.9 percent. Nontariff barriers significantly impede trade. Political instability, an outmoded regulatory environment, and inadequate infrastructure significantly deter private investment. Much of the population remains outside the formal banking sector, and access to credit remains limited.