Sizzling South Sudan

Why Oil Is Not the Whole Story

This article is the third installment of a five-part series examining the world's fastest-growing economies, according to the IMF World Economic Outlook.A man dances with fireworks during South Sudan's independence day celebrations. (Goran Tomasevic / Courtesy Reuters)

The newly independent Republic of South Sudan may top the list of the world's fastest-growing economies in 2013. The main reason for this is that last year South Sudan experienced one of the most spectacular economic contractions of any state in modern times -- a situation that is expected to reverse in the year ahead. 

The South Sudanese economy crashed 12 months ago when, during a dispute with northern Sudan, the South Sudanese government shut down the nation's entire oil production. Until then, oil revenues, totaling about $400 million per month, had represented 82 percent of South Sudan's gross domestic product and 98 percent of government revenues. The oil companies were stunned by the shutdown; their revenues fell

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