Iceland - Future trends
Iceland has entered the 21st century on an economic high note. A tight fiscal policy, lowered inflation, exceptional social services, access to education, high literacy rates, and extremely low unemployment levels have all contributed to the good quality of life enjoyed by Icelanders.
Foreign trade and policy remain controversial areas, especially membership into the European Union, and the protection of fishing resources will remain high on Iceland's political and economic agenda. Debates over the pros and cons of EU membership will continue both inside and outside of the government, especially since the opposition leftist Alliance party is expected to adopt a pro-EU stance.
In 2001, the government looked to continue its policy of tight fiscal and budgetary restraint and the reduction of public debt. Privatization will likely continue, particularly with banks and financial companies. Interest rate increases are expected to lower any rising inflation. Economic growth is expected to slow somewhat in 2001. Overall, Iceland's economic policy and its political life appear to continue on a stable and carefully charted course.