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Travel & Tourism . Tourist Guide to the Country

Iceland Economy




Iceland    Economy Top of Page
Economy - overview: Iceland's Scandinavian-type economy is basically capitalistic, yet with an extensive welfare system, 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 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 has been remarkably steady over the past five years at 4%-5%.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $6.85 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 4.3% (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $24,800 (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture:  15% (includes fishing 13%)

industry:  21%

services:  64% (1999 est.)
Population below poverty line: NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%:  NA%

highest 10%:  NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3.5% (2000 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: 2.7% (January 2001)
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: 1.5% (2000 est.)
Electricity - production: 7.069 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel:  0.07%

hydro:  84.64%

nuclear:  0%

other:  15.29% (1999)
Electricity - consumption: 6.574 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1999)
Agriculture - products: potatoes, turnips; cattle, sheep; fish
Exports: $2 billion (f.o.b., 2000)
Exports - commodities: fish and fish products 70%, animal products, aluminum, diatomite, ferrosilicon
Exports - partners: EU 64% (UK 20%, Germany 13%, France 5%, Denmark 5%), US 15%, Japan 5% (1999)
Imports: $2.2 billion (f.o.b., 2000)
Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, petroleum products; foodstuffs, textiles
Imports - partners: EU 56% (Germany 12%, UK 9%, Denmark 8%, Sweden 6%), US 11%, Norway 10% (1999)
Debt - external: $2.6 billion (1999)
Economic aid - donor: $NA
Currency: Icelandic krona (ISK)
Currency code: ISK
Exchange rates: Icelandic kronur per US dollar - 84.810 (January 2001), 78.676 (2000), 72.335 (1999), 70.958 (1998), 70.904 (1997), 66.500 (1996)
Fiscal year: calendar year

 

Countryfacts Information Courtesy: CIA Worldbook








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