South Sudan's inflation no longer at record levels, but still high
South Sudan last month recorded a drop in inflation of just 43.3 per cent, compared to the 60.9% registered in July, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has announced. The country's Consumer Price Index (CPI), according to the NBS, remained unchanged from July to August this year, with the CPI in Juba, the South Sudan capital said to have increased by 3%.
CPI is an index which tracks the price of a representative basket of goods and services consumed by households, with composition of the goods and services in the basket reflecting consumption of the average household in the country.
However, while the CPI in Wau, the Western Bahr el Ghazal state capital increased by 0.7%, that in Malakal, Upper Nile state surged by 2.7%. “From August 2012, South Sudan CPI increased by 43.3% from August 2011 to August 2012. The CPI increased by 42.6% in Juba, 43.9% in Malakal and 38.1% in Wau from August 2011 to August 2012,” the 31 August report reads in part. South Sudan seceded from the north in July last year, taking with it nearly 75% of oil resources.
However, a dispute over oil with its northern neighbor early this year prompted the young nation to shutdown of its oil production, and now depends on non-oil revenues.
Since then, however, South Sudan's economy has rather been shaky, with its inflation reaching up to 80% in May. The oil-producing nation has, on several occasions, experienced fuel crisis, in turn leading to an upsurge in prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages.
Meanwhile, prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages, according to NBS, decreased by 1.2% from July to August, while prices of alcoholic beverages and tobacco by 6.2% and furnishing and household equipment by 2.8% within the same period. On the contrary, however, health reportedly increased by 8.7 per cent, restaurants and hotels by 11.6% while housing and water by 30.7% from July to August 2012, figures from the statistical body show.
However, from August 2011 to 2012, food prices in South Sudan reportedly rose by 46.2% from and alcoholic beverages and tobacco increased by 155.9% and restaurants and hotels by 43.4%. David Chan Thiang, the NBS Director of Economics Statistics, identified four new consumption groups now measured in the CPI.
These include; clothing and footwear, health, communication and education. The statistical body, he said now provides annual rates of change for these groups.