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Iceland: Economy

Economy Iceland
Economy - overview:
Iceland's Scandinavian-type economy is basically capitalistic, yet with an extensive welfare system (including generous housing subsidies), low unemployment, and remarkably even distribution of income. In the absence of other natural resources (except for abundant hydrothermal and geothermal power), the economy depends heavily on the fishing industry, which provides 70% of export earnings and employs 12% of the work force. The economy remains sensitive to declining fish stocks as well as to fluctuations in world prices for its main exports: fish and fish products, aluminum, and ferrosilicon. Government policies include reducing the budget and current account deficits, limiting foreign borrowing, containing inflation, revising agricultural and fishing policies, diversifying the economy, and privatizing state-owned industries. The government remains opposed to EU membership, primarily because of Icelanders' concern about losing control over their fishing resources. Iceland's economy has been diversifying into manufacturing and service industries in the last decade, and new developments in software production, biotechnology, and financial services are taking place. The tourism sector is also expanding, with the recent trends in ecotourism and whale watching. Growth had been remarkably steady in 1996-2001 at 3%-5%, but could not be sustained in 2002 in an environment of global recession. Growth resumed in 2003, and inflation dropped back from 5% to 2%.
GDP:
purchasing power parity - $8.444 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
-0.6% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $30,200 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 14% (includes fishing 12%)
industry: 21%
services: 65% (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line:
NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
5.2% (2002 est.)
Labor force:
159,000 (2000)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture 5.1%, fishing and fish processing 11.8%, manufacturing 12.9%, construction 10.7%, other services 59.5% (1999)
Unemployment rate:
2.8% (2002 est.)
Budget:
revenues: $3.5 billion
expenditures: $3.3 billion, including capital expenditures of $467 million (1999)
Industries:
fish processing; aluminum smelting, ferrosilicon production, geothermal power; tourism
Industrial production growth rate:
0.2% (2002 est.)
Electricity - production:
7.894 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 0.1%
hydro: 82.5%
other: 17.5% (2001)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
7.341 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
16,300 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2001)
Oil - imports:
15,470 bbl/day (2001)
Agriculture - products:
potatoes, green vegetables, chicken, pork, mutton; fish
Exports:
$2.3 billion f.o.b. (2002)
Exports - commodities:
fish and fish products 70%, animal products, aluminum, diatomite, ferrosilicon
Exports - partners:
Germany 18.5%, UK 17.5%, Netherlands 11.4%, US 10.9%, Spain 5.2%, Denmark 4.6%, Portugal 4.3%, Norway 4.2% (2002)
Imports:
$2.1 billion (2002)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, petroleum products; foodstuffs, textiles
Imports - partners:
US 10.9%, Germany 10.7%, Denmark 8.5%, Norway 8%, UK 7.5%, Netherlands 6%, Sweden 5.9% (2002)
Debt - external:
$2.6 billion (1999)
Economic aid - donor:
$NA
Currency:
Icelandic krona (ISK)
Currency code:
ISK
Exchange rates:
Icelandic kronur per US dollar - 91.66 (2002), 97.42 (2001), 78.62 (2000), 72.34 (1999), 70.96 (1998)
Fiscal year:
calendar year

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Source: The CIA World Fact Book 2003

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