South Sudan: paying the cost of independence with a severe inflation?
South Sudan's annual inflation increased by 74% from June 2011 to June this year, while the country witnessed an upsurge in consumer price index by 1.7% from May 2012 to June, the National Bureau of Statistic (NBS) said in its latest report.
The rise in inflation, officials told Sudan Tribune, reflects the turbulent economic times in the new nation, worsened by the unexpected shut-down of oil production in January this year, following a dispute with neighboring Sudan. In May, the country's inflation jumped to nearly 80%; with the current figure is regarded as a slight improvement in the situation, which has been marred by high fuel prices, scarcity of hard currency and high food prices. "The South Sudan Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased by 1.7% from May 2012 to June 2012.
The CPI increased in Juba by 2.9%, and decreased by 8.3% in Wau [Western Bahr el Ghazal state] and 1.6% in Malakal [Upper Nile],” partly reads the NBS report. "The South Sudan CPI increased by 74.1% from June 2011 to June 2012. The CPI increased by 63.7% in Juba, 147.7% in Malakal and 63.3% in Wau from June 2011 to June 2012", it adds. However, in the report, food and non-alcoholic beverages reportedly decreased in price by 0.2% from May 2012 to June 2012, while alcoholic beverages and tobacco increased by 15.3% and transport by 18.0% over the same time period.
David Chan Thiang, director of economic statistics at NBS mainly attributes the fall in price of food and non-alcoholic beverages to the apparent decreases in prices of fruits, bread and cereal as well as vegetables. "The fall in price of food and non-alcoholic beverages was mainly driven by decreases in fruit by 11.0%, bread and cereals by 5.9% and vegetables by 15.7%," he said.
The statistical body has now included clothing and foot wear, health, communication and education, which are usually prone to annual rate changes, among groups measure in the price index. CPI is an index which tracks the price of a representative basket of goods and services consumed by households in South Sudan, while the monthly consumer price inflation is the percentage change in the CPI over the course of one month.