Economic Outline

flag Sudan Sudan: Economic Outline

Economic Indicators

Since the secession of South Sudan in 2011, the country's economic situation has been difficult as Sudan lost one-third of its territory, one-fourth of its population, 75% of its oil reserves, and more than 75% of its fiscal revenues, thus entering into recession. To avoid a loss in production and revenue, an agreement was reached in 2012 between South Sudan (which is rich in oil reserves but has weak infrastructure) and Sudan, where much infrastructure is located. As a result, South Sudan has been paying a share of its revenues to Sudan for the transportation of its oil. Following popular uprisings and the removal of Islamist President Omar al-Bashir by the military, who had been in power since 1989, a mixed "Sovereign Transitional Council" comprised of both civilians and military officials was established in 2019. However, in October 2021, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane, the council's president, dissolved the interim government, expelled the pro-civilian bloc from the council, detained Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok, declared a state of emergency, and suspended the constitutional charter governing power-sharing. The armed conflict that began again in April 2023 between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) has inflicted severe and enduring damage on the economy, industrial infrastructure, education, and healthcare facilities. This conflict has also precipitated a collapse in domestic demand and economic activity. Amid ongoing hostilities, productive capacity has suffered significantly, leading to steep declines in both private and government consumption. Export volumes have contracted, and vital external financial support and investment have been severed. Consequently, the economy is anticipated to contract for the seventh consecutive year in 2024, by 3.5%, following an estimated 12% contraction in 2023 (data World Bank).

The economic shock and disruption to public institutions, along with budget execution challenges, have led to reduced spending and revenue. Despite the high costs associated with the conflict, spending decreased notably due to a decline in subsidies and wages. Additionally, the significant departure of Sudanese and foreign individuals engaged in commerce and business has diminished the tax base. As a result, the fiscal deficit is projected to reach 3.5% of GDP in 2024 and is anticipated to narrow in subsequent years (World Bank), supported by revenue growth following a modest recovery, assuming a decrease in conflict intensity, and backed by reconstruction endeavors. Meanwhile, the IMF estimated the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio at 256% in 2023, with a downward trajectory expected over the forecast horizon. Inflation surged to approximately 230% in 2023. In 2024, Sudan topped the International Rescue Committee's watchlist of countries facing worsening humanitarian crises. The currency has sharply depreciated by 94% in official markets and 125% in parallel markets since April 2023. The gap between parallel and official rates has widened significantly, reaching 17.4% as of March 2024, compared to 1.7% in March 2023. This reflects increased demand for US dollars amidst an increasingly unregulated exchange market and foreign currency shortages.

The humanitarian situation is dramatic with a large number of displaced persons and refugees. Social tensions have increased, fueled by rising prices and the lack of basic necessities. Sudan suffers from economic inequalities, high unemployment (20.8% in 2023 according to the World Bank, up from 17.6% one year earlier) and inadequate social services. Declining local crop production poses a significant threat to food availability. Direct conflict, civilian displacement, and looting are disrupting farming and harvesting operations. Moreover, the conflict exacerbates existing challenges related to shortages of agricultural machinery, soaring fuel prices, and labor scarcity. Sudan confronts severe levels of food insecurity, with 17.7 million people (37% of the population) grappling with acute food shortages. Finally, the country’s GDP per capita (PPP) was estimated at USD 4,217 in 2022 by the World Bank.

 
Main Indicators 20222023 (E)2024 (E)2025 (E)2026 (E)
GDP (billions USD) 33.7625.7226.8727.4528.25
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change) -2.5-18.3-4.25.47.4
GDP per Capita (USD) 723537547544546
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 185.8316.5280.3262.9280.3
Inflation Rate (%) 138.8171.5145.562.725.2
Current Account (billions USD) -3.79-1.39-1.86-3.01-2.99
Current Account (in % of GDP) -11.2-5.4-6.9-11.0-10.6

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database - October 2021.

Note: (e) Estimated Data


 
Monetary Indicators 20162017201820192020
Sudanese Pound (SDG) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 MUR 0.180.190.721.703.96

Source: World Bank - Latest available data.

 

Main Sectors of Industry

 
Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector Agriculture Industry Services
Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment) 40.6 14.6 44.8
Value Added (in % of GDP) 5.0 4.9 6.4
Value Added (Annual % Change) 1.0 -0.7 -3.0

Source: World Bank - Latest available data.

 
Socio-Demographic Indicators 2024 (e)2025 (e)2026 (e)
Unemployment Rate (%) 49.548.245.7

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database - Latest available data

 

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The Active Population in Figures

201820192020
Labour Force 12,061,09412,434,00712,385,724

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database

 
201720182019
Total activity rate 49.69%49.71%49.74%
Men activity rate 69.60%69.36%69.15%
Women activity rate 30.08%30.34%30.60%

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database

 

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Indicator of Economic Freedom

Definition:

The Economic freedom index measure ten components of economic freedom, grouped into four broad categories or pillars of economic freedom: Rule of Law (property rights, freedom from corruption); Limited Government (fiscal freedom, government spending); Regulatory Efficiency (business freedom, labour freedom, monetary freedom); and Open Markets (trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom). Each of the freedoms within these four broad categories is individually scored on a scale of 0 to 100. A country’s overall economic freedom score is a simple average of its scores on the 10 individual freedoms.

Score:
39,1/100
World Rank:
175
Regional Rank:
47


Source: Index of Economic Freedom, Heritage Foundation

 
 

Country Risk

See the country risk analysis provided by Coface.

 

Indicator of Political Freedom

Definition:

The Indicator of Political Freedom provides an annual evaluation of the state of freedom in a country as experienced by individuals. The survey measures freedom according to two broad categories: political rights and civil liberties. The ratings process is based on a checklist of 10 political rights questions (on Electoral Process, Political Pluralism and Participation, Functioning of Government) and 15 civil liberties questions (on Freedom of Expression, Belief, Associational and Organizational Rights, Rule of Law, Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights). Scores are awarded to each of these questions on a scale of 0 to 4, where a score of 0 represents the smallest degree and 4 the greatest degree of rights or liberties present. The total score awarded to the political rights and civil liberties checklist determines the political rights and civil liberties rating. Each rating of 1 through 7, with 1 representing the highest and 7 the lowest level of freedom, corresponds to a range of total scores.

Ranking:
Not Free
Political Freedom:
7/7

Political freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Freedom in the World Report, Freedom House

 

Indicator of Freedom of the Press

Definition:

The world rankings, published annually, measures violations of press freedom worldwide. It reflects the degree of freedom enjoyed by journalists, the media and digital citizens of each country and the means used by states to respect and uphold this freedom. Finally, a note and a position are assigned to each country. To compile this index, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) prepared a questionnaire incorporating the main criteria (44 in total) to assess the situation of press freedom in a given country. This questionnaire was sent to partner organisations,150 RWB correspondents, journalists, researchers, jurists and human rights activists. It includes every kind of direct attacks against journalists and digital citizens (murders, imprisonment, assault, threats, etc.) or against the media (censorship, confiscation, searches and harassment etc.).

World Rank:
159/180

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Sources of General Economic Information

Useful Resources
Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning
Ministry of Oil and Gas Resources
Central Bank
 
 

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Latest Update: May 2024