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- GDP (PPP):
- $159.1 billion
- 3.4% growth
- 1.1% 5-year compound annual growth
- $4,267 per capita
- Inflation (CPI):
- FDI Inflow:
Political instability and prolonged lawlessness have undermined the capacity of Sudan’s fragile economy to attract long-term investment and promote economic development. Although the small private sector has expanded slightly, the large informal economy remains the most important source of production and employment.
Economic Freedom Snapshot
- 2016 Economic Freedom Score: Not Graded
- Economic Freedom Status: Not Graded
- Global Ranking: Not Ranked
- Regional Ranking: Not Ranked in Sub-Saharan Africa
- Notable Successes: N/A
- Concerns: N/A
- Overall Score Change Since 2012: N/A
Despite some progress, security and political uncertainty remain formidable challenges. The rule of law continues to be fragile and uneven. The inability to deliver even basic services on a reliable basis, often exacerbated by systemic corruption, has severely eroded confidence in the government.
Omar Hassan al-Bashir, president since 1989 when he came to power in a military coup, faces two international arrest warrants based on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide in the conflict in Darfur that began in 2003, leaving over 2 million people displaced and over 200,000 killed. In October 2013, more than 30 members of al-Bashir’s National Congress Party formed a new opposition party. Cross-border violence, political instability, poor infrastructure, weak property rights, and corruption hinder development. Export growth (other than oil) is largely stagnant, and agriculture employs 80 percent of the workforce. Following the secession of South Sudan in 2011, Sudan lost two-thirds of its oil revenue to the South. Subject to multiple comprehensive sanctions regimes, Sudan has begun austerity measures to reduce government spending. A June 2015 U.N. report of an upsurge of violence in Darfur has raised concerns.
Sudan, one of the world’s most corrupt countries, was ranked 173rd among the 175 countries surveyed in Transparency International’s 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index. Political power and economic resources are concentrated in Khartoum while outlying states are neglected and impoverished. There is little respect for private property, the judiciary is not independent, and the legal framework is severely hampered by years of political conflict.
The top personal income tax rate is 10 percent. The top corporate tax rate is 35 percent. Overall tax revenue equals 6.1 percent of GDP. Government spending is below 20 percent of total domestic output, but public debt exceeds 70 percent of GDP. Sudan remains highly dependent on oil, and violence on the border with South Sudan and failure to negotiate an oil revenue–sharing agreement hurt the fiscal climate.
Inconsistent enforcement of regulations and other institutional shortcomings impede business activity and undermine economic development. The labor market remains underdeveloped, and much of the labor force is employed in the informal sector. Despite greatly reduced oil earnings, subsidies on fuel and some basic foodstuffs are still in place.
Importation of goods is expensive and time-consuming. The government screens new foreign investment and restricts investment in some sectors of the economy. Political instability, coupled with an outmoded regulatory environment and inadequate infrastructure, significantly deters private investment. A large portion of the population remains outside of the formal banking sector, and access to credit remains limited.