From Iceland — IMF: Situation in Iceland "Better Than Expected"

IMF: Situation in Iceland “Better Than Expected”

Published December 15, 2009

The economic situation in Iceland is better than representatives from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) originally expected, RÚV reports. The recession is lighter, and the amount of money needed to re-finance the banks is also less than anticipated.
Everything points to the board of the fund reviewing Iceland again in mid-January, representatives told reporters at a press conference yesterday. Mark Flanagan, the IMF’s main representative, told reporters that apart from the government, they have also spoken to employers, union leaders, academics and the parliamentary opposition. He added that the government’s measures have softened the blow of the recession, and the economy should begin to show a real recoveryin the next year.
Flanagan also added that parliament needs to conclude matters with regards to Icesave before a clearer picture can form with regards to how much the fund intends to bring to the table. Apart from this, the Nordic countries could also lend Iceland funds if need be, as they had when the crisis first arose.
Iceland’s tax rate remains the lowest in Scandinavia, and although unemployment is at 8%, this is still the lowest unemployment rate of any other OECD country – in the Euro area, the unemployment rate was 9.7% in September 2009, 0.1 percentage point higher than the previous month and 2.0 percentage points higher than in September 2008. For the United States, the unemployment rate for October 2009 was 10.2%.

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