Iceland Country Risk Report

Providing comprehensive data and in-depth analysis of political, financial and economic risk.

Report includes: BMI's Core Views, 10-year Forecasts, BMI's Economic Risk Index, Political Stability and Risk Index, Long-term Political Outlook, Operational Risk Index, SWOT Analysis and Structural Economic Sections

Why you should buy this report

  • Understand and measure the political, business environment and operational risks to your company
  • Gain insight on emerging trends that could support, strengthen or disrupt your activities in the market
  • Benefit from 10-year macroeconomic forecasts and insight into the structural characteristics of the economy
  • Get the long-term political outlook and explore possible scenarios for change

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Iceland Country Risk Report
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Core Views

  • We expect divisions in Icelandic politics to become ever starker as the schisms exposed by the country's response to the migrant crisis and Paris terror attacks come to the fore. An initially welcoming stance has moderated following Paris, and we expect to see rhetoric from the pro-immigration Pirates, and the more reticent Progressive Party wing of the coalition government to escalate further.

  • Strong high-frequency economic indicators have prompted us to revise up our real GDP Iceland's real GDP for 2016 and 2017. The economy remains on a solid footing, driven by sustained rebound in domestic demand, with private consumption being the main driver of growth in the coming quarters.

  • Inflationary pressures will build up in 2016 from rising wages and FX pass through. This will necessitate continued tightening by the Central Bank of Iceland, underpinning our forecast for its main monetary policy rate to rise to 7.00% by end-2016 from 5.75% at end-2015.

Major Forecast Changes

  • Whereas previously we expected real GDP growth of 3.5% for 2015 and 3.1% for 2016, we now estimate 4.1% growth in 2015 and 3.8% in 2016, on account of stronger high-frequency indicator readings in H215.

Key Risks

  • The biggest risk to our forecast is policy trajectory, particularly in terms of how the current government chooses to remove distortive capital controls. Mishandling of the capital account liberalisation process has the potential to trigger a sell-off in the krona, Similarly, taking a hard stance with regards to capital withdrawals by foreign creditors could damage long-term investor sentiment towards Iceland.

Macroeconomic Forecasts (Iceland 2013-2016)
Indicator 2013 2014e 2015f 2016f
National Sources/BMI
Real GDP growth, % y-o-y 3.6 1.9 4.1 3.8
Nominal GDP, USDbn 14.6 16.1 13.5 14.0
Consumer price inflation, % y-o-y, eop 3.7 -0.4 1.5 3.0
Exchange rate ISK/USD, eop 115.18 127.55 140.00 150.00
Budget balance, % of GDP -1.8 -0.2 0.0 0.1
Current account balance, % of GDP 6.1 4.4 3.6 2.1
Executive Summary
Core Views
Major Forecast Changes
Key Risks To Outlook
Chapter 1: Political Outlook
SWOT Analysis
BMI Political Risk Index
Domestic Politics
Russian Sanctions Disrupt Government Unity
TABLE: Political Overview
Long-Term Political Outlook
Few Major Threats On the Horizon
Chapter 2: Economic Outlook
SWOT Analysis
BMI Economic Risk Index
Economic Activity
Robust Growth Shows No Signs Of Stopping
TABLE: GDP By Expenditure
Monetary Policy
Higher Inflation On The Way As Economy Picks Up
TABLE: Monetary Policy
Chapter 3: 10-Year Forecast
The Icelandic Economy To 2024
Settling Into More Moderate Long-Term Growth Trend
TABLE: Long-Term Macroeconomic Forecasts
Chapter 4: BMI Global Macro Outlook
Global Macro Outlook
China Crisis To Have Far-Reaching Impact
Table: Global Assumptions
Table: Develop ed States, Real GDP Gro wtH, %
Table: Em erging Markets , Real GDP Gro wth , %

The Iceland Country Risk Report helps businesses with market assessment, strategic planning and decision making to promote growth and profitability in Iceland. It is an essential tool for CEOs, Chairmen, Finance Directors/CFOs, Managing Directors, Marketing/Sales Directors with commercial interests in this emerging market.

An influential new analysis of Iceland's economic, political and financial prospects through end-2019, just published by award-winning forecasters, BMI Research.

Key Uses

  • Forecast the pace and stability of Iceland's economic and industry growth through end-2019.
  • Identify and evaluate adverse political and economic trends, to facilitate risk mitigation.
  • Assess the critical shortcomings of the operating environment that pose hidden barriers and costs to corporate profitability.
  • Contextualise Iceland's country risks against regional peers using BMI's country comparative Risk Index system.
  • Evaluate external threats to doing business in Iceland, including currency volatility, the commodity price boom and protectionist policies.

The Iceland Country Risk Report by BMI Research includes two major sections: Economic Outlook and Political Outlook.

Economic Outlook:

How will the Iceland' economic policy-making and performance impact on corporate profitability over 2015-2019?

BMI provides our fully independent 5-year forecasts for Iceland through end-2019 for more than 50 economic and key industry indicators. We evaluate growth, and also forecast the impact of economic management.

Economic Outlook Contents

The Iceland Country Risk Report features BMI's forecasts with supporting analysis for 2015 through to end-2019, set against government views and BMI's evaluation of global and regional prospects.

Key Areas Covered:


  • Full 10-year forecasts with data - for key macroeconomic variables including GDP (real growth and per capita), population, inflation, current account balance and the exchange rate.
  • BMI's comprehensive Risk Index system - rates each country worldwide for economic and political risk, and rates the business environment, within a global and regional context.

Written Analysis:

  • Economic Activity - real GDP growth, employment, inflation, consumption (retail sales and confidence).
  • Balance of Payments - trade and investment, current and capital account.
  • Monetary Policy - interest rate trends (bank lending and deposit rates) and inflation (producer price and consumer price).
  • Exchange Rate Policy - currency controls, foreign investment flows, exchange rates and foreign exchange reserves.
  • Fiscal Policy - macroeconomic strategy and policies, government finance and tax reforms.
  • Foreign Direct Investment - approvals, inflows and climate.
  • External Debt - debt profile (short and long-term plus public and private sector obligations).
  • Global Assumptions - forecasts for each year to end-2019 covering: major commodities, growth in key regions, inflation, and interest and exchange rates, in the United States, Japan, China and the eurozone.

Key Benefits

  • Rely upon BMI's 100% independent forecast scenarios for Iceland and underlying assumptions - we take no advertising and are privately-owned.
  • Exploit the benefits of BMI's comprehensive and reliable macroeconomic database on Iceland, sourced and fully maintained by BMI from an extensive network of private sector, government and multilateral contacts.
  • Gain key insights into the current and future direction of government economic policy, which could significantly affect your company's business prospects, from BMI's team of analysts and economists.

Political Outlook:

What are the political risks to doing business in Iceland over the next 5-years?

BMI's Iceland country Risk Index evaluates the short- and medium-term threats to political stability.

Political Outlook Contents

  • SWOT Analysis for the Iceland Market - Political Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats facing Iceland.
  • Political Stability and Risk Assessment - BMI's Risk Index assesses explicit short- and long-term risks to political stability; latest positioning and trends for Iceland's risk are compared with regional and global averages.
  • Current Administration and Policy-making BMI assesses the threats to the continuity of economic policy, and likely changes to the business operating environment.
  • Long-Term Political Outlook BMI examines the structural risks to the stability of Iceland’s political system and the dominant public policy issues likely to affect decision-makers, and outlines scenarios for how the state could evolve in the medium to long term.

Key Benefits

  • Benchmark Iceland's risk profile against its neighbours, the global and regional average, allowing easy comparison of risks between key business markets.
  • Identify, evaluate and anticipate political and security risks to the business environment, and to your company's current operations and future plans.
  • Gain valuable insights into government and policy-making, through BMI's specialist team of analysts and economists, and their network of private and public sector sources.

*Not all Country Reports contain the Key Sector Outlook chapter. Please enquire above for more information.