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Iceland - Open Map
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Economy

Economy - overview: Iceland's Scandinavian-type economy is basically capitalistic, yet with an extensive welfare system, low unemployment, and remarkably even distribution of income. The economy depends heavily on the fishing industry, which provides 70% of export earnings and employs 12% of the work force. In the absence of other natural resources (except for abundant hydrothermal and geothermal power), Iceland's economy is vulnerable to changing world fish prices. The economy remains sensitive to declining fish stocks as well as to drops in world prices for its main exports: fish and fish products, aluminum, and ferrosilicon. The center-right government plans to continue its policies of 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 is likely to slow in 2000, to a still respectable 3.5%.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $6.42 billion (1999 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 4.5% (1999 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $23,500 (1999 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 15% (includes fishing 13%)
industry: 21%
services: 64% (1998 est.)

Population below poverty line: NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.9% (1999 est.)

Labor force: 131,000 (1999)

Labor force - by occupation: manufacturing 12.9%, fishing and fish processing 11.8%, construction 10.7%, other services 59.5%, agriculture 5.1% (1999)

Unemployment rate: 2.4% (1999 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $NA
expenditures: $3 billion, including capital expenditures of $146 million (1999 est.)

Industries: fish processing; aluminum smelting, ferrosilicon production, geothermal power; tourism

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity - production: 6.187 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 0.06%
hydro: 89.88%
nuclear: 0%
other: 10.06% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 5.754 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1998)

Agriculture - products: potatoes, turnips; cattle, sheep; fish

Exports: $1.9 billion (f.o.b., 1998)

Exports - commodities: fish and fish products 70%, animal products, aluminum, diatomite and ferrosilicon

Exports - partners: EU 65% (UK 19%, Germany 15%, France 7%, Denmark 6%), US 13%, Japan 5% (1998)

Imports: $2.4 billion (f.o.b., 1998)

Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, petroleum products; foodstuffs, textiles

Imports - partners: EU 56% (Germany 12%, UK 10%, Norway 9%, Denmark 8%, Sweden 6%), US 11% (1998)

Debt - external: $2.6 billion (1999)

Economic aid - recipient: $NA

Currency: 1 Icelandic krona (IKr) = 100 aurar

Exchange rates: Icelandic kronur (IKr) per US$1 - 72.334 (January 2000), 72.352 (1999), 70.958 (1998), 70.904 (1997), 66.500 (1996), 64.692 (1995)

Fiscal year: calendar year



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