Ekonomiska utsikter i Norden 2010

Nordiska konjunkturgruppens redogörelse hösten 2009

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Ekonomiska utsikter i Norden år 2010 är den nordiska konjunkturgruppens redogörelse för den ekonomiska situationen i de nordiska länderna hösten 2009. Rapporten innehåller i likhet med tidigare års rapporter dels ett särskilt kapitel med en översikt över den ekonomiska situationen i de nordiska länderna samt kapitel om situationen i varje enskilt nordiskt land.




The contraction in the Icelandic economy since the autumn of 2008 is the sharpest in the 65 years since the establishment of the republic. Private consumption has declined by one-fifth after a major contraction in real disposable income. Many businesses have gone bankrupt or contracted sharply and unemployment has soared. Investment has declined by fifty per cent. The exchange rate has been weak in spite of a trade surplus, and the policy interest rate remains at a relatively high level despite the weak state of the economy. Foreign exchange restrictions on capital movements are still in place, and there is considerable uncertainty as to when they can be lifted, since foreign investors still have large holdings in Icelandic securities and hold sizeable domestic deposits. Many businesses and households have debt in foreign currencies, the krónur value of which has increased in line with the fall in the exchange rate. Although banks have attempted to help debtors to adjust their repayment burden, the number of debt defaults has been on the increase. The dispute between Iceland and the UK and the Netherlands, on deposit insurance in relation with Landsbanki deposits, is expected to be resolved in 2010. This dispute has delayed the disbursement of credits from the IMF and other potential lenders, in turn delaying the recovery measures for the economy. The restoration of the banking system has also been delayed but is close to being completed. The financing of Íslandsbanki is completed as foreign creditors have accepted to take over a 95 per cent share of the bank but it is still needs The Financial Supervisory Authority ordinance. Foreign creditors have also accepted to take over the Arion Bank (the new Kaupþing Bank) and according to the agreement the foreign creditors of the failed bank will acquire 87 per cent of the new bank. Through foreign ownership, both Íslandsbanki and Arion Bank will again be linked to the international financial system, since many of the foreign creditors are well-established international financial institutions. An agreement between the Government and the Landsbanki Resolution Committee is expected to be finalized in November. As the compositionof creditors of the bank is substantially different from the other two banks, Landsbanki will most likely continue under majority government ownership. Savings banks were badly hit by the fall of the three commercial banks. The government has offered to inject equity into savings banks that fulfill certain criteria. The final outcome of this exercise, which is expected to conclude before year-end, depends i.a. on negotiations between the two largest savings banks and their creditors.


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