Other macro

We strive to identify strategic concerns, trends, and relevant financial information and through meticulous analyses transform this into comprehensive research and clear investment opinions for our clients.

04.03.2019 15:31

Robust CA surplus and strong IIP in 2018

​Iceland’s current account surplus amounted to nearly 3% of GDP last year.
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01.03.2019 14:19

GDP growth robust in 2018 despite clouds on the horizon

​Domestic demand growth in 2018 was the slowest in five years, and export growth was at its weakest since 2012. Even so, GDP growth was robust in 2018, mainly because year-on-year import growth virtually halted. There are clear signs that economic activity grew more slowly as the year progressed.
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27.02.2019 13:13

Inflation subsides, in defiance of forecasts

The outlook is for inflation to remain at or above 3% in the near future but stay below the 4% upper deviation limit of the Central Bank’s (CBI) inflation target.
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26.02.2019 13:54

Surplus on services trade in 2018 smaller than expected

​The outlook is for a robust current account balance in 2018 despite headwinds in the tourism industry in H2 and Icelanders’ zest for travel abroad.
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21.02.2019 15:25

MPC unanimous on unchanged policy rate

​The Central Bank (CBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is less keen than before to raise the policy rate, and Committee members agree that no change is needed at present.
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15.02.2019 15:59

Households clutch their wallets tighter as 2019 begins

​Payment card turnover figures suggest a turnaround in private consumption over the past few months.
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06.02.2019 14:22

Unchanged policy rate, slightly softer tone

​An unchanged policy rate and a marginal softening in the Central Bank (CBI) Monetary Policy Committee’s (MPC) message reflect the worsening GDP growth outlook and elevated risk of short-term shocks despite the prospect of relatively high inflation in the near future.
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29.01.2019 13:51

Inflation measures 3.4% in January

Winter sales and a drop in motor vehicle prices were the main drivers of the marked decline in the consumer price index (CPI) in January.
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07.01.2019 16:15

A new twist: CA surplus during an economic boom

​Iceland’s current account balance has never been this favourable in the history of the Republic.
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19.12.2018 10:00

Slower growth in Icelanders’ payment card turnover

​Households’ payment card turnover growth has slowed in real terms in recent months and is now back to the level seen about three years ago.
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10.12.2018 14:15

Domestic economy stronger than previously thought?

​GDP growth looks set to turn out stronger this year than we had expected.
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04.12.2018 14:41

Sizeable current account surplus and improving net IIP in 2018

​The current account surplus for the first nine months of 2018 was only slightly smaller than in the same period of 2017, thanks to a hefty surplus in Q3.
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30.11.2018 15:02

Record surplus on services trade in Q3

​A hefty services account surplus in Q3, coupled with unexpectedly favourable developments in goods trade, suggests that this year’s current account surplus will be sizeable.
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29.11.2018 16:26

Inflation up half a percentage point

​According to figures released recently by Statistics Iceland (SI), the CPI rose 0.24% month-on-month in November, raising headline inflation to 3.3% from 2.8% in October.
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28.11.2018 16:18

Consumers pessimistic as winter takes hold

​Icelandic consumers’ assessment of the economy and labour market deteriorated markedly month-on-month in November, according to Gallup’s newly published Consumer Confidence Index (CCI).
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22.11.2018 14:56

MPC stiffens its tone

​The message conveyed by the Central Bank (CBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) in the minutes to its last meeting seems quite a bit sterner in tone than that in the CBI press conference following the publication of the November interest rate decision.
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07.11.2018 14:32

Policy rate hike driven by deteriorating inflation outlook

A worsening inflation outlook and rising inflation expectations were the main reasons the CBI raised its policy rate by 0.25 percentage points this morning.
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06.11.2018 16:14

Expectations of higher interest rates in the near term but moderate inflation further ahead

​In general, market agents seem to expect policy rate hikes in coming quarters. Long-term inflation expectations still appear reasonably well in line with the Central Bank’s (CBI) inflation target, although the spread between expectations and the breakeven inflation rate in the market has widened noticeably in the recent term.
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29.10.2018 14:46

Inflation 2.8% in October

​The depreciation of the ISK since the beginning of September has begun to affect the price level. Furthermore, house prices are still rising somewhat, particularly in regional Iceland. The outlook is for rising inflation in the coming term.
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07.09.2018 15:41

Strong GDP growth in H1 2018

Output growth has been stronger than expected in the recent past. In particular, the contribution from net trade has been favourable in 2018 to date, although private consumption growth has eased.
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06.09.2018 14:05

8m/2018 goods account deficit ISK 111bn

​The deficit on goods trade year-to-date is somewhat smaller than in the first eight months of 2017.
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31.08.2018 15:34

Services account surplus shrinks in H1

The balance on services trade was ISK 14bn smaller year-on-year in H1/2018, partly because of Icelanders’ zest for travel, which has increased markedly between years, while growth in revenues from foreign tourists in Iceland has slowed significantly.
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30.08.2018 15:15

Inflation remains very close to target

​Inflation tapered off slightly in August and is now very close to the Central Bank’s (CBI) inflation target. The impact of rising house prices on headline inflation has weakened significantly.
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29.08.2018 16:28

Policy rate unchanged but tone hardens

The Central Bank (CBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is concerned about the rise in inflation expectations and will probably think in terms of a policy rate hike if expectations keep climbing in coming months.
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24.08.2018 15:34

Labour market turns a corner

​Trends in the labour market appear to have changed rather decisively during the period from mid-2016 through spring 2017.
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21.08.2018 11:00

Households take their foot off the gas

​There are now clear indications that households are easing into neutral as regards private consumption, after strong growth in the recent term.
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10.08.2018 14:41

Labour market: tensions easing?

There are clear signs that the Icelandic labour market is softening. A slower increase in total hours worked suggests that GDP growth eased in Q2 and will measure somewhat less this year than in 2017.
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02.08.2018 16:34

Is tourism reaching equilibrium?

Growth in tourism-related services exports has slowed markedly in 2018 to date.
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28.06.2018 10:51

Consumer sentiment more moderate in Q2

​Icelandic consumers’ declining expectations concerning economic and labour market developments and prospects suggest that private consumption growth will ease in coming quarters.
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27.06.2018 12:05

Inflation outpaces expectations

CPI up 0.62% in June; headline inflation rises to 2.6%
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22.06.2018 13:07

Is private consumption growth slowing down?

​Key indicators of developments in private consumption suggest that growth eased in Q2.
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16.05.2018 14:00

Policy rate unchanged at 4.25%

​The Central Bank’s (CBI) policy interest rate will remain unchanged for the present, as expected.
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15.05.2018 14:00

Zeal for spending continues largely unabated

Developments in payment card turnover indicate that domestic private consumption is still growing at a brisk pace.
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03.05.2018 15:18

Labour market approaching equilibrium?

​The Icelandic labour market appears to be approaching a balance after a period of declining unemployment and robust growth in hours worked, beginning at the start of the decade and lasting until 2017.
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27.04.2018 15:20

Inflation back below Central Bank target

An unexpected dip in the housing component of the consumer price index (CPI) was the main reason headline inflation is now back below the Central Bank’s (CBI) 2.5% inflation target.
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24.04.2018 14:10

Real wage growth eases in Q1

​Real wage growth has subsided in recent months as inflation has risen, yet it remains robust and still outpaces that in neighbouring countries.
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18.04.2018 13:30

Private consumption growth eases in Q1

The outlook is for private consumption in 2018 to date to be slower than in the same period of 2017.
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10.04.2018 15:04

Goods account deficit much smaller in 2018 to date

Thus far in 2018, the deficit on goods trade is about a third smaller than it was for the same period a year ago.
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06.04.2018 14:54

Monetary Policy Committee: Home-grown hawks; imported doves

The external members of the Central Bank (CBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) were somewhat more dovish year than those who come from within the ranks of Bank staff.
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03.04.2018 15:32

Monetary Policy Committee: Continued consensus on unchanged policy rate

​The Central Bank (CBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is generally unanimous these days in its policy rate decisions.
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28.03.2018 10:52

Days grow longer, consumers more upbeat

According to a new Gallup survey, Icelandic consumers are planning to cut back on motor vehicle purchases and step up overseas travel.
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26.03.2018 16:52

House prices push inflation above Central Bank target

​The past few months’ rapid rise in house prices is the main reason headline inflation has overtaken the Central Bank’s (CBI) inflation target after a four-year stint below it.
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22.03.2018 15:53

Real wages still growing apace

Real wages have been growing at a steady clip since mid-2017. Although the pace has eased slightly since then, it remains strong in historical and international context.
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14.03.2018 13:06

Unchanged policy rate and neutral tone from the MPC

​The Central Bank’s (CBI) policy rate will remain unchanged at 4.25%, according to the Monetary Policy Committee’s (MPC) new statement, published this morning.
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05.03.2018 14:11

Current account surplus shrinks in 2017, but external position improves

Last year’s current account surplus was less than half that in 2016.
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02.03.2018 10:40

Surplus on goods and services trade shrinks markedly in 2017

Iceland’s trade surplus contracted significantly year-on-year in 2017, owing mainly to a surge in the goods account deficit (which in turn was mostly due to strong import growth) and a much more modest surplus on services trade than in previous years.
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07.02.2018 16:34

Year begins with unchanged policy rate

​The Central Bank (CBI) policy rate is unchanged at 4.25% after the Monetary Policy Committee’s (MPC) first interest rate decision of the year, published this morning.
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29.01.2018 13:13

Inflation a hair’s breadth below target

An unexpected surge in house prices pushed inflation sharply upwards in January, to 2.4%, the highest measurement since July 2014.
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24.01.2018 14:44

Real wage growth eases in 2017 after a record-breaking 2016

​Real wage growth slowed markedly last year, after surging in 2016.
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16.01.2018 14:37

Private consumption still surging while tourism revenue growth eases

Private consumption growth has eased slightly following the recent surge, according to payment card turnover figures.
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09.01.2018 15:00

Deficit on goods trade grew 60% in 2017

Iceland’s deficit on external goods trade grew by 60% year-on-year in 2017, to ISK 172 bn, and rose to a ten-year high relative to GDP.
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21.12.2017 14:52

Drop in house prices contains inflation in December

The big news in Statistics Iceland’s (SI) just-published December CPI measurement was a steep month-on-month drop in house prices. Headline inflation has been below 2.0% for all of 2017, and it looks as though the Central Bank (CBI) will be able to celebrate the four-year anniversary of below-target inflation this coming February.
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13.12.2017 14:53

Unchanged policy rate and more hawkish tone

The Central Bank (CBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has cited mounting concern over the medium-term fiscal stance and stronger-than-expected growth in domestic demand as two of the reasons for its decision to hold the CBI’s policy interest rate unchanged this time.
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11.12.2017 15:20

GDP growth more sluggish, based on weaker foundations

Developments in GDP year-to-date indicate that the top of the business cycle is behind us and a period of weaker output growth lies ahead.
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05.12.2017 13:19

Current account surplus narrows ; IIP improves

Iceland’s current account surplus has shrunk markedly year-to-date, owing mainly to broadly unchanged net revenues from international travel concurrent with a ballooning goods account deficit caused by strong import growth and a marginal contraction in exports.
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01.12.2017 17:00

Surplus on services trade unchanged despite rise in tourist numbers

In spite of a significant increase in the number of tourists visiting Iceland in the first three quarters of 2017, the surplus on services trade was virtually unchanged year-on-year.
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28.11.2017 14:42

Declining clothing prices and airfares dampen inflation in November

Inflation turned out lower than expected in November, owing mainly to a steep decline in airfares and clothing prices.
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15.11.2017 15:44

Policy rate unchanged amid cooing in the Dovecote

The Central Bank (CBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) announced this morning that short-term interest rates would be held unchanged, leaving the bank’s key interest rate – the rate on seven-day term deposits – at 4.25%.
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27.10.2017 15:42

Unexpected inflation spurt in October

An unexpected jump in food prices was the main cause of a larger-than-forecast rise in the consumer price index (CPI) in October.
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24.10.2017 16:31

Purchasing power spikes in September

Even though purchasing power has grown apace in the recent term, private consumption is growing even faster at present.
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18.09.2017 10:45

Minority partner ends Iceland‘s centre right govt. coalition

The centre-right government coalition in Iceland has collapsed in its present form.
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11.09.2017 10:54

GDP growth below expectations in H1

GDP growth was more modest in H1 than in previous quarters, owing mainly to weaker growth in business investment and services exports.
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05.09.2017 16:20

H1 current account surplus shrinks markedly year-on-year in 2017

The current account (CA) surplus for the first half of the year was only about half the size of last year’s H1 surplus.
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01.09.2017 16:14

Services account surplus shrinks in Q2

New services trade figures from Statistics Iceland (SI) and other recent tourism-related statistics suggest that the sector’s growth rate has eased in the recent past.
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30.08.2017 16:45

Inflation eases in August

A small rise in house prices and unusually muted end-of-sale effects were the main reasons why the CPI rose less than expected in August.
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23.08.2017 15:42

Policy rate unchanged at 4.5% - neutral forward guidance

The Central Bank (CBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) announced this morning that it would hold the policy rate unchanged.
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13.07.2017 14:12

We forecast an unchanged CPI in July

We forecast that the consumer price index (CPI) will remain unchanged month-on-month in July, raising headline inflation from 1.5% to 1.9%.
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29.06.2017 13:43

Disinflation: courtesy of competition and the ISK

The appreciation of the ISK in the first half of the year and growing competition in the retail sector have combined to reduce headline inflation in recent months, in spite of a strong increase in house prices and rising domestic wage costs. The outlook is for a continued tug-of-war between these forces, resulting in modest inflation overall.
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17.05.2017 14:19

Policy rate lowered, neutral forward guidance

The Central Bank (CBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided today to lower the policy interest rate by 0.25 percentage points. Most analysts expected a rate cut, although forecasts ranged between no change (including our own) and a 0.25-point rate cut.
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16.05.2017 13:10

How much will the recent ISK appreciation affect the MPC?

The ISK has appreciated by over 5% year-to-date, much more than over the same period in 2016, despite the liberalisation of capital controls and the fishermen's strike in the early months of this year.
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16.05.2017 08:17

Icelanders’ payment card use abroad closing in on all-time high

According to payment card turnover figures published by the Central Bank of Iceland (CBI) on Friday, Icelanders’ payment card use abroad soared in April, rising in ISK terms to one of the highest levels ever recorded, second only to June 2016, the peak of the UEFA football frenzy.
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08.05.2017 14:35

Marked tension in the labour market

The situation in the domestic labour market seems to resemble that prevailing at the peak of the last upswing.
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27.04.2017 14:26

Inflation above expectations in April

The rapid rise in house prices is the main reason for the uptick in twelve-month inflation in April.
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26.04.2017 12:41

Real wage growth stalls in March

Since the turn of the year, the rise in the wage index has slowed and real wage growth has stalled.
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26.04.2017 12:34

Consumer sentiment sags in April

The Gallup Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) declined by 2.6 points between March and April and now stands at 126.6.
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05.04.2017 13:19

Tourism booming worldwide

Tourism has been one of the world’s fastest-growing sectors in recent decades. The number of destinations available to travellers is rising continually. The tourism industry has created jobs, generated foreign exchange revenues, and underpinned strong GDP growth and societal development in many countries. Globally, tourism accounts for 10% of GDP, 7% of foreign exchange revenues from goods and services exports, and one of every eleven jobs.
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31.03.2017 14:07

Housing inflation accelerates still further

The housing market shows numerous signs of overheating at present. First of all, house prices rose by 1.7% in March, according to new figures from Statistics Iceland (SI). The monthly rise has now exceeded a percentage point for eight months in a row, a development not seen since the 2004-2005 housing boom. In the past year, house prices overall have risen by 17.8%, the biggest twelve-month increase since the first half of 2006.
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29.03.2017 12:14

Consumers buoyant in March

According to figures published his morning by Gallup, the Gallup Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) rose by 3.5 points between February and March, to 129.2, the third-highest March measurement ever recorded.
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28.03.2017 14:00

Inflation subsides again

Inflation has fallen again, to a six-month low, owing mainly to the appreciation of the ISK.
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24.03.2017 15:18

Real wage growth stalls

Growth in real wages has slowed markedly from the peak nearly a year ago.
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15.03.2017 14:15

Policy rate unchanged – in line with our forecast

The Central Bank (CBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has decided to keep the policy rate unchanged, in line with our forecast. Official forecasts ranged from no change to a 0.25 percentage point rate cut. The Committee’s rationale for its decision to keep rates unchanged is broadly as we expected: stronger-than-anticipated GDP growth, signs of continued rapid growth in demand in 2017, and uncertainty about near-term exchange rate developments in the wake of capital account liberalisation, on the one hand, and reduced uncertainty in the labour market together with the appreciation of the ISK since the MPC’s last rate-setting meeting, on the other. ​
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10.03.2017 11:13

2016: strongest GDP growth in a decade

Year-2016 GDP growth outpaced forecasts by a large margin, weighing in at 7.2%, the strongest Iceland has seen in a decade.
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01.03.2017 16:50

Record surplus on services trade in 2016

The 2016 services account surplus, the largest ever recorded for a full year, was driven mainly by the rapid-fire growth of the tourism industry, now Iceland’s largest export sector by far.
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28.02.2017 12:42

Surge in house prices

House prices rose nationwide by 1.8% month-on-month in February, according to figures from Statistics Iceland (SI), making for the seventh consecutive month with a rise of over a percentage point and giving a total increase of 12.7% over the seven-month period.
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27.02.2017 15:15

Inflation unchanged in February

Statistics Iceland's (SI) February CPI measurement was consistent with most forecasts, although a number of subcomponents developed in an unexpected way.
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23.02.2017 16:30

Pension funds show weak real returns in 2016

It appears that the Icelandic pension funds’ returns were generally weak last year, owing to the strength of the ISK and a lacklustre performance in the equity securities market.
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08.02.2017 13:35

Policy rate unchanged, in line with forecasts

The MPC decided to keep the Central Bank (CBI) policy rate unchanged, in line with our projections and those of other official policy rate forecasters. The Bank’s key interest rate – the rate on seven-day term deposits – will therefore remain 5.0%.
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27.01.2017 15:46

Inflation holds steady at 1.9% in January

According to newly published figures from Statistics Iceland (SI), inflation remained unchanged month-on-month in January, at 1.9%.
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19.01.2017 13:06

Sign of robust private consumption growth

It appears as though year-2016 private consumption growth was the strongest Iceland has seen in at least a decade.
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22.12.2016 14:19

ISK appreciation plays starring role in disinflation

The appreciation of the króna played a leading role in Statistics Iceland’s (SI) December CPI numbers.
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14.12.2016 14:26

Policy rate cut — in the face of most forecasts

The Central Bank (CBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) took the market by surprise this morning when it announced its decision to lower the CBI’s policy rate by 0.25 percentage points.
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07.12.2016 13:25

Robust GDP growth in 9M/2016

GDP growth measured a hefty 6.2% in the first nine months of the year. This is the strongest growth rate yet measured in the current upswing, according to figures published by Statistics Iceland (SI) this morning. It is also the strongest growth rate measured in any EEA country during this period.
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25.11.2016 14:43

Inflation rises despite ISK appreciation

Twelve-month inflation rose in November in spite of a marked appreciation of the ISK in recent months.
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23.11.2016 15:36

Signs of strong residential investment growth in H2/2016

Surging importation and sales of construction materials in the recent past suggest hefty growth in residential investment, and the newest figures indicate that growth will indeed be robust in the second half of the year.
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23.11.2016 14:58

Rise in real wages outpaces private consumption growth

Real wages have risen by an average of 10% year-on-year each month in 2016, outpacing the average YoY growth rate in recent decades.
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09.11.2016 11:00

FX reserves at a new high

The Central Bank’s (CBI) foreign exchange reserves have doubled in size since the beginning of the year.
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08.11.2016 08:44

An upswing in the housing market

We expect house prices to increase by 9.3% this year, 11.4% in 2017, and 6.6% in 2018. We also expect real house prices to increase by 7.8% this year, 9.7% in 2017, and 3.4% in 2018.
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27.10.2016 15:30

ISK appreciation keeps inflation in check

According to figures published this morning by Statistics Iceland (SI), the consumer price index (CPI) was unchanged month-on-month in October, with reduced import prices offsetting the rise in the housing component and other domestic items.
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30.09.2016 14:05

Statistics Iceland error changes our policy rate forecast

Statistics Iceland’s (SI) CPI measurement for September changes our forecast of the Central Bank (CBI) Monetary Policy Committee’s (MPC) next interest rate decision, to be announced on 5 October. The CPI rose by nearly 0.5% month-on-month, much more than we and other official forecasters had projected. We, in fact, had forecast no change in the index. One of the main reason for the divergence is SI’s correction of an error it made earlier this year, when it significantly underestimated imputed rent, thereby affecting both those figures and inflation figures for the past several months. ​
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30.09.2016 09:23

Inflation doubles in September

Twelve-month inflation doubled in September, according to newly published figures from Statistics Iceland (SI).
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09.09.2016 12:26

GDP growth robust but slightly below forecasts

GDP grew by 4.1% year-on-year in the first six months of 2016. This is noticeably below projections for the year as a whole, as the Central Bank’s (CBI) most recent forecast provides for 4.9% growth, and our own forecast, from June, provides for 5.4%.
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07.09.2016 15:15

We expect a 35% increase in tourist arrivals in 2017

Isavia has published space allocation figures for the period from 1 November 2016 through 25 March 2017. If utilisation of allocated space is in line with allocations, the annualised increase in passenger seats to Iceland for this period will be 58%.
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26.08.2016 14:34

Inflation falls once again

Twelve-month inflation declined in August, for the third month in a row, and has now breached the lower deviation limit of the Central Bank’s (CBI) inflation target.
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27.07.2016 13:53

Minor slump in consumer sentiment in July

As in recent years, Icelandic consumers’ overall sentiment declined somewhat month-on-month in July.
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22.07.2016 15:19

Inflation drops sharply in July

Inflation fell to its lowest since the beginning of 2015 during the month of July.
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01.06.2016 12:34

Policy rate unchanged, as forecast

The Central Bank (CBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has decided again to keep the policy rate unchanged, in line with our forecast and others. The Bank’s key interest rate – the rate on seven-day term deposits – will therefore remain 5.75%.
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01.06.2016 12:27

Icelandic consumers seldom more upbeat than now

Icelandic consumers have seldom been as optimistic about the current economic situation and the outlook for the future as they are at present.
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27.05.2016 14:48

Inflation rises slightly in May

The consumer price index (CPI) rose slightly more than projected in May.
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11.05.2016 13:26

Policy rate unchanged, in line with forecasts

The Central Bank (CBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to keep the policy rate unchanged today, in line with our forecast and others. The Bank’s key interest rate – the rate on seven-day term deposits – will therefore remain 5.75%.
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28.04.2016 15:39

Inflation below expectations in April

The April rise in the consumer price index (CPI) was smaller than expected, and headline inflation is still well below the Central Bank’s (CBI) 2.5% inflation target.
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30.03.2016 14:50

Inflation tapers off in March

The CPI rose less than we expected in March, owing mainly to an extremely small increase in imputed rent.
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15.03.2016 14:21

Strong growth in private consumption and services exports early in 2016

Icelanders’ payment card turnover soared in February, according to new payment card turnover figures published yesterday by the Central Bank of Iceland (CBI), and there are a number of signs that private consumption growth in Q1/2016 will be the strongest seen since the latter half of 2007.
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18.02.2016 12:52

Payment card turnover: strong growth early in the year …

Thus far, the new year has seen strong growth in payment card turnover among Icelanders and foreign tourists alike, indicating that both private consumption and services exports are off to a roaring start.
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10.02.2016 12:12

Policy rate unchanged, in line with forecasts

The Central Bank (CBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has decided to keep the policy interest rate unchanged, in line with our forecast and others.
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28.01.2016 15:17

Inflation rises marginally in January

Inflation rose marginally in January, and the CPI declined slightly less between months than we had anticipated.
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27.01.2016 12:12

Icelanders upbeat in the new year

According to a press release published yesterday by Gallup, the Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) rose nearly 11 points month-on-month in January, to 124.3.
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07.01.2016 14:59

2015: an astounding year for tourism

According to figures published yesterday by the Icelandic Tourist Board, 70,900 foreign nationals departed Iceland via Keflavík Airport (KEF) in December, an increase of 17,100, or 31.9%, year-on-year.
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22.12.2015 14:22

Inflation unchanged in December

Statistics Iceland’s (SI) December CPI measurement turned out in line with our expectations.
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22.12.2015 14:14

Season's Greetings

Season's Greetings
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09.12.2015 12:59

Policy rate unchanged – in line with forecasts

The Central Bank (CBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has decided to keep the policy rate unchanged, in line with our forecast. The main rationale for the decision is the short-term inflation outlook, which has improved since the November forecast. In addition, a stronger króna and more favourable global price developments have provided the scope to raise interest rates more slowly than was previously considered necessary.
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08.12.2015 12:49

Robust GDP growth in 9M/2015

According to the national accounts for the first three quarters of the year, published by Statistics Iceland (SI) this morning, GDP growth for the first nine months of 2015 measured a brisk 4.5%, which is well in line with our forecast for the year as a whole (4.3%) and that of the Central Bank (CBI) (4.6%).
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01.12.2015 12:56

Record services account surplus in Q3

External services trade generated a larger surplus in Q3 than ever before in a single quarter.
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26.11.2015 14:53

Consumer prices decline in November

Statistics Iceland’s (SI) November inflation measurement is below forecasts, and headline inflation will rise less as a result.
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04.11.2015 13:06

Unexpected policy rate hike

This morning the Central Bank (CBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) announced a policy interest rate increase of 0.25 percentage points.
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29.10.2015 14:39

Inflation slows marginally in October

Statistics Iceland’s (SI) October inflation measurement accords with our forecast. Twelve-month inflation has subsided a little and looks set to remain below the Central Bank’s (CBI) inflation target through the year-end.
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29.10.2015 14:09

Highest CCI measurement in eight years

The Gallup Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) rose by over 5 points between September and October, holding above the 100-point threshold indicating parity between optimists and pessimists for the third month in a row.
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19.10.2015 10:56

CPI projected to rise 0.1% in October

We expect the consumer price index (CPI) to rise by 0.1% month-on-month in October.
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30.09.2015 13:25

Policy rate unchanged, as forecast

The Central Bank (CBI) Monetary Policy Committee’s (MPC) decision to keep the policy rate unchanged, announced today, was in line with our projections and those of other official forecasters. As regards future rate hikes, the tone in today’s statement was somewhat milder than in the MPC’s August statement.
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25.09.2015 15:48

CPI falls further than expected in September

Statistics Iceland’s (SI) September inflation measurement was well below forecasts, causing twelve-month inflation to decline during the month.
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11.09.2015 13:05

Strongest GDP growth since 2007

According to preliminary figures published this morning by Statistics Iceland (SI), GDP growth measured 5.2% in the first half of the year, the strongest H1 growth rate seen since that controversial year, 2007. It is also well above the Central Bank’s (CBI) forecast of 4.2% for 2015 as a whole, published concurrent with the 19 August interest rate decision. The difference between the preliminary figures and the CBI forecast lies mainly in robust export growth in the first half.
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11.09.2015 10:05

CPI to fall 0.1% in September

We project that the consumer price index (CPI) will fall by 0.1% month-on-month in September.
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03.09.2015 13:18

Enormous underlying current account surplus

The underlying current account surplus for Q2/2015 totalled ISK 26.5bn, according to newly published preliminary figures from the Central Bank (CBI).
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27.08.2015 15:12

Highest inflation in a year

Inflation now measures 2.2% in Iceland, the highest level seen since August 2014. That notwithstanding, inflation is below the Central Bank’s (CBI) 2.5% inflation target, as it has been for the past 19 months straight. The outlook is for a steady increase over the next few months and an inflation rate well above the target by the year-end.
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19.08.2015 14:10

Policy rate hike in line with forecasts

Today’s decision by the Central Bank (CBI) Monetary Policy Committee’s (MPC) to raise the policy rate by 0.5 percentage points was in line with our forecast and the forecasts published by other domestic market analysts. As grounds for the rate hike, the MPC cited the deterioration in the inflation outlook since the CBI’s May forecast, which is due to negotiated wage rises in excess of that forecast. The CBI also expects the output gap to widen in the coming term. The bank’s key interest rate (the rate on seven-day term deposits) is now 5.5% and has risen by a percentage point since the beginning of June.
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12.08.2015 09:34

We forecast a 0.5-point policy rate hike on 19 August

We forecast that the Central Bank (CBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) will decide to raise the CBI’s policy interest rate by 0.5 percentage points at its next rate-setting meeting, scheduled for 19 August, citing a poorer inflation outlook, large domestic wage rises, and growing tension in the economy.
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23.07.2015 13:32

Inflation rate rises

In July inflation measured at 1.9% and it is therefore still under the 2.5% inflation target of the Central Bank of Iceland (CBI), as it has been for half a year.
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15.07.2015 11:58

Ample growth in payment card figures

The payment card turnover of Icelandic households rose sharply this June after a slight setback the previous month.
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15.07.2015 11:57

Foreign payment card turnover in June on par with record turnover

As was to be expected, there was a steep growth in the payment card turnover of foreigners in Iceland in June and yet another record was broken in this field.
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02.07.2015 08:19

CCI hits 7-year high

The Gallup Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) soared in June, indicating a dramatic upturn in consumers’ attitudes towards the economy and labour market. The index measured 107.1 points in June, its highest value since January 2008.
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01.07.2015 17:02

First post-crash upgrade from Moody’s

Credit rating agency Moody’s announced the other day that it had upgraded Iceland’s sovereign ratings for foreign and local currency obligations by one notch, from Baa3/P-3 to Baa2/P-2.
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29.06.2015 13:24

One out of ten works in tourism

According to figures from Statistics Iceland (SI), employees working in the tourism industry numbered 18,500 in May, about 10.1% of Iceland’s total workforce during the month. In other words, just over one in ten employed people worked in the tourism sector in May.
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26.06.2015 13:54

Inflation slows marginally in June

Inflation turned out a percentage point below the Central Bank’s (CBI) 2.5% inflation target in June and has now been below target for a year and a half.
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25.06.2015 14:12

Monetary Policy Committee: one member wanted a 1-pt rate hike

According to the minutes of the Central Bank (CBI) Monetary Policy Committee’s (MPC) last meeting, held on 8 and 9 June, four of the five members voted in favour of the Governor’s proposal to raise the CBI’s policy rate by 0.5 percentage points. One of the four would have preferred to raise rates by 0.75 percentage points but was nonetheless willing to vote in favour of the Governor’s proposal. One member voted against the Governor’s proposal, however, voting instead to raise interest rates by 1 percentage point.
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15.06.2015 13:09

Tepid card turnover growth in May

The month of May saw a slowdown in Icelandic households’ payment card turnover, after a robust first four months of 2015.
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15.06.2015 13:06

Near-unprecedented growth in foreigners’ card use

Foreign card turnover was expected to be strong in May, but it broke yet another record.
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10.06.2015 13:00

Interest rate hike in line with forecasts

The Central Bank (CBI) Monetary Policy Committee's (MPC) decision to raise the CBI's policy interest rate by 0.5 percentage points, announced this morning, took no one by surprise; indeed, all official forecasts had projected a rate hike of this amount. As expected, the MPC cited the outlook for wage developments, rising inflation expectations, and signs of robust domestic demand growth as grounds for the increase.
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09.06.2015 14:52

Modest GDP growth in Q1

Iceland’s GDP growth measured 2.9% in Q1/2015, according to preliminary figures published by Statistics Iceland (SI) this morning. This is well in line with Q4/2014 GDP growth, which measured 3.0%. The figures suggest that the economy will continue to grow moderately, given what has been seen in Iceland in many other upswings. This is in line with the tone in our macroeconomic forecast, published on 26 May. Slightly below forecast
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03.06.2015 14:38

Q1/2015: Surplus on external trade and improved IIP

An ongoing surplus on external trade is one of the main drivers of the vast improvement in Iceland’s international investment position (IIP) in recent years.
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03.06.2015 14:25

Icelanders flee the cold

The month of May saw a sharp increase in Icelandic nationals’ departures via Keflavík Airport (KEF), although Icelanders were outnumbered by foreign nationals, as is discussed below.
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01.06.2015 14:09

Record services account surplus

According to preliminary figures published by Statistics Iceland (SI) this morning, the external services balance for the first quarter of the year was positive by ISK 19.5bn.
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28.05.2015 13:55

Inflation remains below target

Inflation is still somewhat below the Central Bank’s (CBI) inflation target after a 0.3% rise in the consumer price index (CPI) in May.
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27.05.2015 13:17

CCI virtually unchanged in May

Consumers’ assessment of the economic and labour market situation was broadly unchanged month-on-month in May, according to the Capacent Gallup Consumer Confidence Index (CCI), published yesterday.
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18.05.2015 11:14

Modest card turnover growth

Individuals’ card turnover in Iceland grew by 3.5% year-on-year in real terms in April (in terms of the CPI excluding housing), according to the Central Bank’s (CBI) most recent payment card turnover figures.
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15.05.2015 13:50

Deteriorating inflation outlook

We expect the consumer price index (CPI) to rise by 0.3% month-on-month in May. If this forecast materialises, inflation will rise from 1.4% to 1.6%, thereby remaining quite a bit below the Central Bank’s (CBI) inflation target.
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13.05.2015 13:49

Monetary Policy Committee signals rate hike in June

The Central Bank’s (CBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is signalling a policy rate increase as soon as next month, owing to direct and indirect effects of demands for large pay rises and mounting tension in the ongoing wage negotiations.
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29.04.2015 13:52

Inflation remains low in April

Inflation turned out more than a percentage point below the Central Bank’s (CBI) 2.5% inflation target in April and has now been below target for fifteen consecutive months.
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28.04.2015 13:28

Nosedive in consumer confidence

Icelandic consumers’ assessment of the economy and labour market deteriorated markedly month-on-month, according to Gallup’s Consumer Confidence Index (CCI), published this morning for April.
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17.04.2015 13:37

Continued sharp rise in house prices

House prices have shot up in the recent term. According to figures from Statistics Iceland (SI), prices nationwide have risen by 9.4% in nominal terms and 7.7% in real terms over the past twelve months.
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15.04.2015 13:18

Card turnover figures show strong growth

It appears that private consumption growth in Q1 will turn out quite strong, owing mainly to more rapid growth in consumption in Iceland than has been seen in the recent past.
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10.04.2015 14:39

We forecast a 0.1% rise in the CPI in April

We expect the consumer price index (CPI) to rise by 0.1% month-on-month in April. If this forecast materialises, inflation will decline from 1.6% to 1.4%, thereby remaining well below the Central Bank’s (CBI) 2.5% inflation target.
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09.04.2015 13:40

Strong goods trade surplus in Q1

The balance on goods trade was more favourable in Q1/2015 than in the same quarter of 2014 and, excluding ships and aircraft, showed the largest surplus in three years.
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31.03.2015 13:20

Upbeat sentiment gains ground in March

According to Capacent Gallup’s most recent survey, consumers’ brows lifted noticeably in March, in spite of an all but uninterrupted spate of vicious weather and mounting uncertainty in the labour market.
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27.03.2015 13:40

Pace of inflation doubles in March

Rapidly rising house prices, increased travel costs, and end-of-sale effects are the main contributors to the steep rise in the CPI in March. The index rose by just over 1.0% month-on-month, the most rapid increase in a single month since February 2013.
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18.03.2015 13:40

Policy rate unchanged, as forecasted

The Central Bank (CBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has decided to keep the policy rate unchanged, in line with our forecast and others.
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17.03.2015 12:51

Stiff competition for flights to Iceland

The booming interest in Iceland as a travel destination has not escaped foreign airlines, which have strongly expanded their Iceland flight offerings in recent years. According to data from Isavia on space allocations during the period 1 April – 24 October, 23 airlines have been allocated space this summer, although their flight schedules and frequency vary widely.
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16.03.2015 13:02

Card turnover figures indicate growth in private consumption and FX revenues

Individuals’ payment card turnover grew 4.3% year-on-year in real terms in February, according to the Central Bank’s (CBI) newly published card turnover figures.
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13.03.2015 14:24

OUR FORECAST: CPI to rise 0.9% in March

We project that the consumer price index (CPI) will rise by 0.9% month-on-month in March.
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10.03.2015 14:30

2014 GDP growth in line with expectations

Iceland’s GDP grew at a healthy clip in real terms last year, albeit somewhat less than in 2013.
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04.03.2015 14:05

Tourism leads the recovery

The lion’s share of the GDP growth measured since the Icelandic economy began recovering in 2010 is due to the exponential growth of tourism. Íslandsbanki Research estimates that at least a third of GDP growth from 2010 to the present stems from this one sector.
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02.03.2015 15:14

Record services exports in 2014

Services exports generated more revenues in 2014 than ever before in a single year.
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26.02.2015 15:53

Inflation still below CBI tolerance limits

In February, inflation was below the lower tolerance threshold for the Central Bank’s (CBI) inflation target for the third month in a row. According to figures just released by Statistics Iceland (SI), twelve-month inflation measures 0.8% and is unchanged since December.
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25.02.2015 13:15

Sunny skies over the labour market

The results of Statistics Iceland’s (SI) most recent labour force survey, published this morning, indicate that the job market was vigorous during the first month of the year.
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24.02.2015 13:48

Marked improvement in consumer sentiment

The Capacent Gallup Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) jumped 9.7 points between January and February, indicating that Icelandic consumers are more upbeat than in recent months.
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19.02.2015 14:02

MPC unanimous

According to the minutes of the last meeting of the Central Bank’s (CBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), members voted unanimously to keep the policy rate unchanged on the CBI’s last interest rate decision date, 4 February.
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16.02.2015 13:41

Continued record FX inflows from tourism

It is no exaggeration to say that this year’s tourist season is getting off to a dizzying start.
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16.02.2015 13:38

Tepid growth in payment card turnover year-to-date

Recent developments in payment card turnover suggest that private consumption has been growing at a relatively leisurely pace, which is interesting in view of households’ strong financial position at present.
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13.02.2015 14:34

CPI to rise 0.8% in February

We project that the consumer price index (CPI) will rise by 0.8% month-on-month in February. If this forecast materialises, twelve-month inflation will rise from 0.8%, its nadir this century, to 0.9%.
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11.02.2015 14:33

Bright prospects for external trade in 2015

The outlook is for a handsome surplus on goods and services trade in 2015. Furthermore, the underlying current account balance looks set to show a healthy surplus in coming quarters, and the outlook there is considerably brighter than before.
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04.02.2015 14:47

Policy rate unchanged – against all expectations

The Central Bank (CBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided today to keep the bank’s policy interest rate unchanged.
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29.01.2015 13:49

Headline inflation unchanged at 0.8% in January

Inflation was below the lower deviation threshold of the Central Bank of Iceland’s (CBI) inflation target in January, for the second month in a row. If the housing component is excluded, Iceland recorded 0.6% deflation according to the most recent measurements.
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23.01.2015 13:49

Households: marked improvement in 2014

A number of economic indicators published this week suggest that households’ position improved significantly in 2014: rapid real wage growth, a marked rise in capital area house prices, increased labour use, and declining unemployment
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16.01.2015 15:49

We forecast a 0.9% drop in the CPI in January

We project that the consumer price index (CPI) will fall 0.9% month-on-month in January.
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14.01.2015 13:14

Robust card turnover growth in 2014

Developments in card turnover in 2014 suggest that private consumption growth was quite strong – probably much more so than Statistics Iceland’s (SI) nine-month figures indicate.
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14.01.2015 12:36

Foreign tourists’ payment card turnover still on the rise

According to the Central Bank of Iceland’s (CBI) most recent payment intermediation figures, published yesterday, foreign payment card turnover totalled ISK 6.1bn in December, an increase of more than 21% year-on-year in ISK terms.
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23.12.2014 13:16

Consumers show burst of holiday spirit

Capacent has just published the Gallup Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for December.
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23.12.2014 13:15

Labour market rallies in November

Figures from the Statistics Iceland (SI) labour force survey, published yesterday, indicate a marked improvement in November.
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23.12.2014 13:00

Season´s Greetings

Season's Greetings
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19.12.2014 15:06

Inflation below tolerance limits for the first time

CPI inflation has fallen below 1.0%, the lower tolerance limit of the Central Bank’s (CBI) inflation target, for the first time since the target was adopted in 2001.
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19.12.2014 15:05

Real wages up sharply

Real wages took a jump in November, rising 0.7%, according to figures published by Statistics Iceland (SI) this morning, thanks to the 0.5% drop in the CPI during the month – the largest November decline in the CPI since the 1960s.
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15.12.2014 15:37

Private consumption growth set for year-end surge

The outlook is for a strong fourth quarter in terms of private consumption growth, not least because domestic consumption appears to be picking up in comparison with previous quarters.
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15.12.2014 13:20

Foreigners’ card use up steeply …

Foreign nationals’ payment card turnover was up 32.5% year-on-year in nominal terms in November, totalling ISK 6.9bn, as opposed to ISK 5.2bn in November 2013, according to figures published Friday by the Central Bank of Iceland (CBI).
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11.12.2014 16:07

We forecast a 0.3% rise in the CPI in December

We project that the consumer price index (CPI) will rise by 0.3% month-on-month in December.
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10.12.2014 15:10

Policy rate lowered by 0.5 percentage points

The Central Bank (CBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has decided to lower the policy interest rate by 0.5 percentage points.
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10.12.2014 13:05

Market response to policy rate cut

The bond market responded strongly to this morning’s interest rate decision from the Central Bank (CBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).
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05.12.2014 14:57

GDP growth weaker than expected

According to preliminary figures published by Statistics Iceland (SI) this morning, GDP growth measured 0.5% for the first nine months of the year, well below our expectations and those set forth in other forecasts for 2014 as a whole, which range from 2.7% to 3.1%. In our most recent forecast, published in early October, we projected this year’s output growth at 3.1%,
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04.12.2014 12:49

Tourism a major contributor to FX inflows

This year’s foreign exchange market inflows are the result of exponential growth in the tourism sector, and it is clear that without such growth the króna would have depreciated markedly.
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03.12.2014 15:06

We forecast a 25-point rate cut on 10 December

We forecast that the Central Bank (CBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) will decide to lower the CBI’s policy interest rate by 0.25 percentage points at its next rate-setting meeting, scheduled for 10 December.
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03.12.2014 15:05

Current account balance: second-largest surplus to date

According to the Central Bank’s (CBI) preliminary figures on the balance of payments and external position, published yesterday, the underlying current account balance (excluding the old banks) showed a surplus of ISK 57.4bn in Q3.
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03.12.2014 15:01

IIP manageable

Iceland’s underlying international investment position (IIP) has improved steadily in the recent term and now appears to be well within manageable limits.
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02.12.2014 12:20

Surplus on services trade breaks all-time record

External services trade in Q3 generated a larger surplus than ever before in a single quarter.
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26.11.2014 16:05

Inflation at a 16-year low

Inflation is now 1.0%, the lowest measurement seen in Iceland since Q4/1998.
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25.11.2014 12:30

Consumer sentiment improves modestly following debt relief measures

The Government’s debt relief package appears to have had a muted effect on consumers’ expectations, according to the most recent Capacent Gallup Consumer Sentiment Index (CCI), published this morning.
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24.11.2014 14:22

Real wage hike – courtesy of reduced goods prices

Real wages have risen sharply in the recent past, thanks to rapid nominal wage growth and low inflation.
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21.11.2014 14:03

Oil prices fall to 4-yr low; further cuts possible in Iceland

Global oil prices have plummeted in recent months and are now at their lowest since September 2010. As of this writing (7:30 hrs.), a barrel of Brent crude costs USD 79.4, as opposed to over USD 115 in June, a drop of 31%.
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20.11.2014 12:28

MPC: one voted against; another would have preferred to wait

One of the five members of the Central Bank (CBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted against the Governor’s proposal to lower the policy rate at the MPC’s last meeting, held in advance of the 5 November interest rate decision date. Instead, this member voted to keep the policy rate unchanged.
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17.11.2014 13:35

Steep growth in payment card turnover in October

All indicators suggest that private consumption growth will prove to be one of the main drivers of output growth in 2014.
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17.11.2014 13:07

Continued sharp rise in foreigners’ card use …

According to the Central Bank of Iceland’s (CBI) most recent payment intermediation figures, published last week, foreign payment card turnover totalled ISK 7.1bn in October, an increase of 23.9% year-on-year in nominal terms.
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06.11.2014 15:25

Continued surge in foreign tourist visits

The soaring increase in tourist visits to Iceland and the more even distribution of tourist arrivals throughout the year has been of pivotal importance for FX inflows in the recent past, a trend that appears set to continue.
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06.11.2014 14:51

October goods trade surplus the largest in a single month in two years

The surplus on external goods trade measured ISK 12.3bn in October, according to preliminary figures published yesterday by Statistics Iceland (SI).
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05.11.2014 14:34

Finally – a policy rate cut

The Central Bank (CBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) announced this morning that it had decided to lower the CBI’s policy rate by 0.25 percentage points.
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05.11.2014 14:28

Markets respond strongly to policy rate cut

Clearly, today’s policy rate cut took most market participants by surprise, as forecasters had all projected no change.
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29.10.2014 13:53

Inflation rises marginally in October

The housing component of the CPI accounts for nearly three-fourths of domestic inflation at present.
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28.10.2014 13:37

Consumer sentiment plunges

Icelandic consumers are more pessimistic about the current situation in the economy and labour market than they have been since last November, according to the latest Gallup Consumer Confidence Index (CCI), published this morning.
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24.10.2014 14:04

How reliable is the analysis of Iceland’s balance of payments problem?

One of the chief risks the Icelandic economy faces at present centres on the balance of payments: how it will develop in the near term and, in particular, whether there is the risk of massive foreign currency outflows, with the inevitable currency depreciation and inflation spike and the subsequent repercussions for financial stability and private sector financial conditions.
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22.10.2014 14:06

Real wages rise strongly

Real wages took a jump in September, rising 0.8%, according to figures published by Statistics Iceland (SI) this morning.
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22.10.2014 13:49

Rise in hours worked loses pace

Newly published results from the Statistics Iceland (SI) labour market survey indicate that the labour market continues to recover.
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16.10.2014 13:54

MPC: grounds for possible policy rate cut

According to the minutes from the 30 September meeting of the Central Bank (CBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), published yesterday, the MPC voted unanimously in favour of the Governor’s proposal to keep the policyrate unchanged.
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14.10.2014 14:36

Foreign tourists’ card turnover year-to-date outpaces 2013

According to the Central Bank of Iceland’s (CBI) most recent payment intermediation figures, published yesterday, foreign payment card turnover totalled ISK 10.1bn in September, an increase of more than 21% year-on-year in ISK terms.
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14.10.2014 14:35

Robust private consumption growth in Q3

Q3 private consumption appears to have developed in line with our expectations.
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01.10.2014 15:40

Policy rate unchanged – in line with forecasts

The Central Bank (CBI) Monetary Policy Committee’s (MPC) decision to keep the policy rate unchanged comes as no surprise, as it is in line with forecasts across the market, including our own.
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25.09.2014 14:37

CPI declines unexpectedly in September

A record decline in international airfares and unusually mild end-of-sale effects were the main contributors to recent developments in the CPI, which fell 0.12% in September, in spite of a marked rise in house prices.
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19.09.2014 13:34

2014 output growth could turn out weaker than forecast

According to figures published this morning by Statistics Iceland (SI), GDP growth measured 0.6% in H1/2014, somewhat below the 0.9% projected by the Central Bank (CBI) in its most recent forecast.
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15.09.2014 14:01

Outlook for strong private consumption growth

Payment card figures for the first eight months of 2014, published recently by the Central Bank (CBI), indicate that private consumption growth will be strong in Q3,
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15.09.2014 12:52

Tourists’ card turnover up a fifth

According to the Central Bank of Iceland’s (CBI) most recent payment intermediation figures, published on Friday, foreign payment card turnover totalled ISK 17.6bn in August, an increase of about 20% year-on-year in ISK terms.
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04.09.2014 13:36

MPC unanimous

According to the minutes of the Central Bank (CBI) Monetary Policy Committee’s (MPC) most recent meeting, all members voted in favour of the Governor’s proposal to keep the CBI’s policy rate unchanged on 20 August, the last decision date.
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04.09.2014 13:34

Near-unprecedented stability in the FX market

The exchange rate of the króna has been very stable since May, after having risen last winter and this spring.
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03.09.2014 16:00

Underlying current account surplus grows year-on-year

The second quarter saw a surplus on the underlying trade balance for only the third time in the history of these statistics.
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03.09.2014 15:57

Underlying IIP improves

At mid-year, Iceland’s underlying international investment position (IIP) was negative by just over half of estimated GDP.
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27.08.2014 14:11

Modest rise in CPI in August

The CPI rose only modestly in August, due mainly to declining travel and transport prices. Inflation was below the Central Bank’s (CBI) 2.5% inflation target in August, for the seventh month in a row, and appears set to hover in this range for the remainder of the year.
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27.08.2014 14:08

CCI broadly unchanged in August

This month showed no great improvement in the Gallup Consumer Confidence Index (CCI), even after last month’s steep decline.
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21.08.2014 14:06

Tourist numbers to keep rising this winter

Data from Isavia on space allocations at Keflavík Airport (KEF) during the period from 26 October 2014 to 25 March 2015 indicate that the number of passengers travelling through KEF could rise 14.3% year-on-year during that five-month period
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14.08.2014 11:22

Unchanged policy rate on 20 August

We expect the Central Bank (CBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) to decide to hold the policy rate unchanged on 20 August, the next announcement date.
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07.08.2014 16:21

No FX inflows from goods trade

External goods trade has not generated any net foreign exchange inflows year-to-date, according to figures from Statistics Iceland (SI).
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30.07.2014 14:55

Consumer sentiment clouds up during rainy summer season

Something – either Southwest Iceland’s rainy summer or some other combination of factors – threw a wet blanket over consumer sentiment in July. The Gallup Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) fell 17 points in July, to the current 85.2, virtually wiping out the uptick in June.
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23.07.2014 14:38

Inflation still at target

Inflation was just below the Central Bank’s (CBI) 2.5% inflation target in July, marking the sixth consecutive month of target-level inflation.
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16.07.2014 13:32

Foreign tourists’ card turnover up by a fourth

According to the Central Bank of Iceland’s (CBI) most recent payment intermediation figures, published on Monday, foreign tourists’ payment card turnover totalled ISK 13.5bn in June, an increase of over 24% YoY in ISK terms.
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16.07.2014 13:30

Signs of rapid private consumption growth in Q2

According to payment intermediation figures from the Central Bank of Iceland (CBI), individuals’ payment card turnover grew 7.3% year-on-year in real terms in June.
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14.07.2014 11:33

We forecast a 0.2% decline in the CPI in July

We project that the consumer price index (CPI) will fall 0.2% in July. If our forecast materialises, twelve-month inflation will rise marginally, from 2.2% to 2.3%.
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04.07.2014 14:36

Services trade plays key role in FX generation

All indicators imply that net foreign exchange inflows from services trade will far exceed those from goods trade this year, in a departure from previous years.
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02.07.2014 09:51

Goods and services prices 12% higher in Iceland than in the EU

According to information from Eurostat, the EU statistical bureau, the domestic price of consumer goods and services was 12% above the EU average in 2013.
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27.06.2014 13:34

Inflation still below target

Inflation measured 2.2% in June, marking the fifth consecutive month of inflation below the Central Bank’s (CBI) inflation target.
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24.06.2014 14:35

Consumer optimism hits post-crisis high

The Gallup Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) took a leap in June, rising to its highest value since February 2008.
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20.06.2014 14:40

Capital area house prices dip in May

After a rapid rise year-to-date, house prices in the greater Reykjavík area fell 0.1% month-on-month in May.
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18.06.2014 13:25

Spending fever in May

Individuals’ payment card turnover grew 7.5% year-on-year in real terms in May, the strongest YoY increase since October 2011.
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18.06.2014 13:22

Tourism revenues still on the rise

The Central Bank’s (CBI) payment card turnover figures indicate continuing revenue growth in the tourism sector as the peak season approaches.
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16.06.2014 11:19

CPI expected to rise 0.2% in June

We project that the consumer price index (CPI) will rise by 0.2% in June. If this forecast materialises, inflation will decline from 2.4% to 2.1%, as the CPI rose 0.5% in June 2013.
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11.06.2014 13:13

Unchanged interest rates in line with forecasts

The Central Bank (CBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has decided again to keep the policy rate unchanged, in line with our forecast and others.
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10.06.2014 14:48

Tourist numbers to rise sharply despite strikes

A total of 67,000 foreign tourists departed from Iceland via Keflavík Airport (KEF) in May, an increase of 24.4% year-on-year.
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06.06.2014 11:52

Our forecast: unchanged policy rate on 11 June

We expect the Central Bank (CBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) to decide to hold the policy rate unchanged on 11 June, the next announcement date.
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04.06.2014 14:43

ISK strengthens despite CA deficit

The underlying current account (CA) balance showed a deficit in Q1, for the first time since the beginning of 2013.
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04.06.2014 14:32

IIP negative by half of GDP

According to the Central Bank’s (CBI) newly published estimate of Iceland’s international investment position (IIP), the underlying net external position was negative by 51% of estimated GDP at the end of March.
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02.06.2014 14:24

Services balance finally positive in Q1

According to preliminary figures published by Statistics Iceland (SI) this morning, the external services balance for the first quarter of the year was positive by ISK 825m.
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28.05.2014 15:03

Inflation driven by house price increases

Inflation measured 2.4% in May. It was therefore just below the Central Bank’s (CBI) inflation target for the fourth month in a row.
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28.05.2014 14:01

Consumer sentiment broadly unchanged

Icelanders’ assessment of the economy and labour market changed very little between the April and May measurements, according to the Gallup Consumer Confidence Index (CCI), published yesterday.
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22.05.2014 14:05

Pension funds’ foreign asset ratio near historical average

As a share of their total assets, Icelandic pension funds’ foreign assets are broadly in line with the average over the past 17 years.
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22.05.2014 14:01

Interesting developments in pension funds’ domestic assets in Q1

Net assets for payment of pension benefits grew by ISK 17.5bn in Q1, according to figures from the CBI.
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21.05.2014 14:02

Next policy rate change will be an increase

The Central Bank (CBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided today to keep the bank’s policy interest rate unchanged.
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19.05.2014 15:53

CPI expected to rise 0.2% in May

We project that the consumer price index (CPI) will rise by 0.2% in May, bringing headline inflation from 2.3% to 2.6%, as the CPI fell by 0.05% in May 2013.
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14.05.2014 14:48

A swift change in the weather

After a period of strong private consumption growth, Icelanders appear to have been more cautious in their spending in April.
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14.05.2014 14:44

Continued record FX inflows from tourism

According to payment intermediation figures from the Central Bank of Iceland (CBI), foreign payment card turnover totalled ISK 6.8bn in April, an increase of 29% YoY in ISK terms.
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08.05.2014 14:13

Services exports a key player in FX accumulation

Foreign exchange inflows from tourism counteracted an extremely weak goods trade balance in April.
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02.05.2014 15:49

Macroeconomic forecast for 2014 -2016

Islandsbanki Research has published a new macroeconomic forecast for 2014 -2016
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30.04.2014 14:49

Consumer sentiment deteriorates

Icelandic consumers’ assessment of the economy and labour market deteriorated markedly month-on-month, according to Gallup’s Consumer Confidence Index (CCI), published this morning for April.
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29.04.2014 13:53

Inflation still below target

Inflation was below the Central Bank’s (CBI) inflation target in April, for the third month in a row.
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25.04.2014 15:53

Marked rise in capital area house prices

Capital area house prices rose 3.9% in Q1, the largest increase in a single quarter since Q3/2007.
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15.04.2014 14:43

Signs of rapid private consumption growth in Q1

Most indicators suggest that private consumption grew much more rapidly in the first quarter of 2014 than in the previous two years.
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15.04.2014 14:40

Tourist spending up sharply

Foreign tourists’ Q1 payment card turnover in Iceland was higher than ever before in the first quarter of the year – which is no surprise, of course, given the astronomical increase in the number of foreign tourists visiting the country during the period.
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14.04.2014 15:42

We forecast a 0.5% rise in the CPI in April

We project that the consumer price index (CPI) will rise by 0.5% in April, raising inflation from 2.2% to 2.5%.
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09.04.2014 10:45

Tourist numbers to rise at least 20% in 2014

Ever since 2012, records have been smashed month after month in the tourism sector.
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09.04.2014 09:42

Raungengi krónunnar í sínu hæsta gildi frá hruni

Raungengi krónunnar var á fyrsta fjórðungi þessa árs 11,7% hærra en á sama tíma í fyrra. Er þá miðað við hlutfallslegt neysluverð.
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03.04.2014 15:11

Increased likelihood of a policy rate cut in May

All members of the Central Bank (CBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted in favour of the Governor’s proposal to keep interest rates unchanged on the 19 March interest rate decision date.
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03.04.2014 15:10

Tourism revenues offset weak goods account surplus

The surplus on external goods trade in Q1 was less than half that in Q1/2013.
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28.03.2014 12:12

Sharp rise in house prices

House prices have risen quite rapidly in recent months, with the twelve-month increase nationwide measuring about 9.7%, according to figures released by Statistics Iceland (SI) earlier this week.
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26.03.2014 14:31

Inflation still below target

Inflation looks set to remain close to the Central Bank’s (CBI) inflation target for the present. It measured below the 2½% target in March – for the second month in a row – and appears likely to hover around that level in the near future.
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25.03.2014 14:20

Consumer Confidence improves

Icelandic consumers are much more optimistic about the current situation and future outlook for the domestic economy and labour market than they were in the second half of 2013, according to the Capacent Gallup Consumer confidence Index (CCI) for March, published this morning.
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25.03.2014 14:19

Signs of strong private consumption growth

This morning’s Capacent Gallup findings indicate that private consumption growth could prove quite strong this year, in a turnaround from 2013.
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19.03.2014 14:14

MPC eyes possible rate cut

The Central Bank (CBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has decided again to keep the policy rate unchanged, in line with our forecast and others.
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14.03.2014 15:39

Surge in private consumption in Q1

The outlook is for strong growth in private consumption in Q1/2014, according to the Central Bank’s (CBI) new payment card turnover figures.
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14.03.2014 15:35

No Arctic chill in the tourism industry

Foreign tourists are spending more in Iceland than ever before, according to payment card turnover figures.
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07.03.2014 14:36

GDP growth of the best kind

Iceland’s GDP growth measured 3.3% in 2013, according to preliminary figures published by Statistics Iceland (SI) this morning.
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06.03.2014 08:32

Goods trade: weakest beginning since 2009

According to preliminary figures published by Statistics Iceland (SI) yesterday, the goods account showed a surplus of ISK 4.0 bn in February, quite a bit less than the February 2013 surplus of ISK 6.1 bn. January saw a year-on-year contraction as well.
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04.03.2014 14:48

Current account balance at its all-time best...

The current account balance has never been as strongly positive in any year as it was in 2013, either including or excluding the deposit money banks (DMB) in winding-up proceedings.
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04.03.2014 14:28

Underlying IIP on the mend

Iceland’s underlying international investment position (IIP) was more favourable at year-end 2013 than it has been since the turn of the century, according to new figures from the Central Bank (CBI).
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28.02.2014 14:04

Balance on services: rapidly shrinking deficit

External services trade generated a deficit of ISK 3.6 bn in Q4/2013, which is a much more favourable result that is usually seen in the last quarter of the year.
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27.02.2014 15:20

Inflation below target

This month’s rise in the CPI is by far the smallest February increase in five years.
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27.02.2014 15:17

MPC: one member favoured a rate hike

One member of the Central Bank (CBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted against the Governor’s proposal to keep the policy rate unchanged on the last interest rate decision date. This member wanted to raise the policy rate by 0.25 percentage points because the two-year inflation outlook had deteriorated from previous forecasts and inflation expectations had not kept pace with declining inflation. This is the first time since March 2013 that any MPC member has voted against a proposal to keep the policy rate unchanged. Then, as now, one member wanted a 25- basis point rate hike.
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25.02.2014 13:26

Consumer sentiment improves between months …

According to the February measurement of the Gallup Consumer Confidence Index (CCI), published this morning, the index rose by nearly 8 points between January and February, to 85.9 points, its highest value since last June.
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18.02.2014 13:19

Iceland’s high real policy rate

The Central Bank of Iceland (CBI) has held its policy rate unchanged since November 2012, and in spite of the harsh tone taken by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) in last week’s statement, we expect CBI rates to remain unchanged throughout this year.
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14.02.2014 13:18

A very Merry Christmas

Payment card turnover rose sharply year-on-year in January.
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14.02.2014 12:51

2014 tourist season comes in like a lion

It is hardly an exaggeration to say that this year’s tourist season is getting off to a roaring start.
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11.02.2014 14:58

Pension funds see strong real returns in 2013

For the second year in a row, the pension funds’ real returns appear to have been well above the 3.5% actuarial threshold.
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11.02.2014 14:54

Ample pension fund liquidity

The pension funds’ liquidity position is still much stronger than it was before the crash.
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05.02.2014 14:28

Hefty surplus on goods trade in January

2014 is off to a healthy start, at least in terms of goods trade.
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30.01.2014 14:25

Inflation falls off sharply in January

January’s decline in the CPI (0.72%) was the largest in a single month since July 2012. Inflation now measures 3.1%, its lowest in three years.
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21.01.2014 14:22

Rise in house prices a boon for households

Nominal house prices rose 8.7% nationwide in 2013. As a result, the value of Icelandic households’ residential real estate holdings rose by 245 b.kr
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14.01.2014 16:32

Christmas cheer shows in card turnover

Private consumption appears to have taken a jump in Q4/2013, if payment card turnover figures are any indication of actual developments.
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14.01.2014 13:10

Surge in tourism-generated FX revenues continues

In keeping with the recent trend, foreign payment card turnover in Iceland grew strongly year-on-year in December.
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09.01.2014 15:26

Tourism: an incredible year

To say that the tourism industry made a strong showing in 2013 would be a major understatement, given the revenues generated by the sector last year.
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09.01.2014 15:24

Icelanders head out in December

December 2013 also saw a steep YoY increase in the number of Icelanders travelling abroad, in line with the pattern established this autumn.
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08.01.2014 14:23

Central Bank upbeat on near-term inflation

The recently concluded wage settlements and the past few weeks’ appreciation of the ISK enhance the likelihood that inflation will subside rapidly in the early months of 2014 after the spike in December, according to the Central Bank (CBI).
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08.01.2014 14:20

Declining export prices explain reduced goods account surplus

The surplus on goods trade was approximately 10% smaller in 2013 than in 2012, owing mainly to adverse developments in terms of trade, particularly lower prices on Iceland’s main exports.
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20.12.2013 14:07

Housing component weighs heavily in December CPI increase

The CPI rose more than expected in December, owing to a surge in the housing component.
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20.12.2013 14:02

Consumer sentiment up MoM

The Gallup Consumer Sentiment Index (CSI) rose by over 10 points between November and December, to 78.6 points.
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16.12.2013 15:05

Private consumption driven by surge in online shopping?

The most recent payment card turnover figures indicate robust year-on-year private consumption growth in November, and in keeping with the recent pattern, the increase was driven to a large extent by use of domestic cards abroad.
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16.12.2013 15:04

Payment card turnover surplus increases fivefold

As before, foreign payment card turnover in Iceland rose sharply YoY in November. Total foreign card turnover was ISK 5.2 bn, an increase of 22.7% between years.
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12.12.2013 12:47

We forecast a 0.4% rise in the CPI in December

We project that the consumer price index (CPI) will rise by 0.4% month-on-month in December. If this forecast materialises, inflation will rise from 3.7% to 4.0%, as the CPI was virtually unchanged in December 2012.
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11.12.2013 14:55

Unchanged interest rates in line with forecasts

The Central Bank (CBI) Monetary Policy Committee’s (MPC) decision to hold interest rates unchanged was in line with our forecast and those of other analysts.
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10.12.2013 14:21

Tourism: the adventure continues

The recent pattern just keeps repeating itself, with figures on foreign visitors to Iceland showing that November was the easily strongest November in the history of tourism statistics
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06.12.2013 13:51

GDP growth exceeds expectations

According to preliminary figures published by Statistics Iceland (SI) this morning, GDP growth measured 3.1% for the first nine months of the year, indicating that growth for the year as a whole could outpace forecasts, which have ranged from 1.7% to 2.3%.
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06.12.2013 13:18

Sizeable goods account surplus in November

The surplus on external goods trade measured ISK 12.3 bn in November, according to preliminary figures published yesterday by Statistics Iceland (SI).
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03.12.2013 15:17

Government debt relief proposals positive for households

The Government’s announced measures to reduce household debt will probably bolster output growth in coming years because of their positive impact on net household wealth and disposable income, and therefore on private consumption and household investment.
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03.12.2013 14:31

Record current account surplus …

According to the Central Bank of Iceland’s (CBI) figures on the balance of payments and the external position of the Icelandic economy, published yesterday, Q3/2013 set an Icelandic record for the largest current account surplus ever seen in a single quarter.
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29.11.2013 14:55

Balance on services: record surplus

External services trade in Q3 generated a larger surplus than ever before in a single quarter.
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29.11.2013 14:15

2013 bond issuance exceeds expectations

Public sector bond issuance has been quite successful this year, with some ISK 106 bn market value sold by major issuers; that is, Government Debt Management (GDM), Municipality Credit Iceland plc (LS), and the City of Reykjavík, which all issue bonds on a regular basis.
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27.11.2013 14:13

November rise in CPI driven by housing component

The rise in the CPI in November is due primarily to a substantial increase in the market value of housing.
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27.11.2013 12:59

Negligible change in consumer sentiment

The prevailing pessimism about the economic situation and outlook changed very little between October and November, according to the Gallup Consumer Sentiment Index (CSI) for November, published yesterday.
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22.11.2013 13:53

General trend towards optimism in output growth forecasts

Three forecasters that have issued output growth forecasts for Iceland this November – the OECD, the Central Bank of Iceland (CBI), and Statistics Iceland (SI) – agree that growth will gain momentum in the near future. They project output growth at 2.5-2.7% in 2014 and 2.8% in 2015.
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20.11.2013 13:24

Sharp rise in capital area house prices

House prices in the greater Reykjavík area rose by 1.6% in October, the largest rise in a single month since June.
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14.11.2013 13:49

Private consumption growth still in the doldrums

The most recent payment card turnover figures indicate modest year-on-year private consumption growth in October, but the increase is largely due to a rise in Icelanders’ consumption overseas, in keeping with the overall pattern year-to-date.
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08.11.2013 13:25

Yet another record month for tourism

According to figures published by the Icelandic Tourist Board yesterday, October was by far the strongest October to date in terms of the number of foreign visitors to Iceland.
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06.11.2013 14:10

Longest stretch of policy rate stability since 2004

The Central Bank (CBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has decided again to keep the policy rate unchanged, in line with our forecast and others.
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06.11.2013 12:14

Sizeable goods account surplus in October

According to preliminary figures just published by Statistics Iceland (SI), the goods account surplus measured ISK 7.1 bn in October
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01.11.2013 15:00

Change in frequency of publication of Icelandic Market Daily

In tandem with the developments that have taken place in the domestic financial market in Iceland in recent years, Íslandsbanki Research has increased its analyses of the financial options the market has to offer.
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31.10.2013 16:31

Less of a trade surplus so far this year

Measured in króna, the trade surplus was about 9% lower in the first nine months of the year than it was in the same period last year.
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30.10.2013 14:40

We forecast no change in interest rate on 6 November

We expect the Central Bank of Iceland (CBI) to leave its policy rate unchanged at its next interest rate decision meeting on 6 November.
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29.10.2013 13:34

Consumer sentiment down again in October

Icelandic consumers are generally rather pessimistic about the current position and outlook of the Icelandic economy these days.
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28.10.2013 12:35

This week: Expectations and trade balance

A number of interesting economic indicators will be published this week.
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25.10.2013 13:47

Autumn inflation below expectations

The CPI remained unchanged month-on-month in October, to our surprise and that of the market as a whole.
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25.10.2013 12:51

House prices on the rise

House prices rose 0.1% between September and October, according to figures released by Statistics Iceland (SI) this morning.
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23.10.2013 13:28

Positive labour market statistics from SI

Unemployment was higher in September than a year ago, according to the Statistics Iceland (SI) labour market survey results, published this morning.
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22.10.2013 14:22

Real wage growth resumes

Seasonal effects are behind this September’s surge in the wage index. The annualised increase in real wages now measures almost 2%, which is a faster pace than in the past few months, albeit consistent with developments earlier in the year.
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21.10.2013 13:16

Strong rise in condominium prices

According to the capital area house price index published late last week by Registers Iceland (RI), house prices in greater Reykjavík rose 0.9% month-on-month in September
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21.10.2013 13:04

The week ahead: Inflation, wages, and labour market statistics

A number of interesting statistics are due for publication this week, most of them for the month of September.
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18.10.2013 13:50

Executives expect high inflation

According to a survey carried out by Capacent for the Confederation of Icelandic Employers and the Central Bank (CBI) last September, executives from Iceland’s largest firms expect inflation to measure 3.7% a year from now.
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17.10.2013 12:02

MPC unanimous on unchanged policy rate

All members of the Central Bank (CBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted in favour of the Governor’s proposal to keep the policy rate unchanged on 2 October, and no members declared a preference for a different result.
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15.10.2013 14:13

Card turnover gains pace in Q3

In a reversal of the trend from the previous month, Icelanders’ payment card turnover grew strongly in September, indicating that private consumption growth picked up in Q3 from the first half of the year.
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15.10.2013 13:59

Record card turnover surplus

The Central Bank’s (CBI) payment card turnover figures for September show once again the relentless growth in tourism-generated foreign exchange revenues.
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14.10.2013 14:05

Statistics: Payment card turnover and unemployment tboði

A number of important statistics will be published this week, most of them for September, including Central Bank of Iceland (CBI) figures on payment card turnover and Directorate of Labour (DoL) figures on registered unemployment.
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11.10.2013 15:30

Turnaround in euro area house prices?

House prices in the euro area were 2.2% lower in Q2/2013 than in the same period a year ago, according to information published yesterday by Eurostat, the EU statistical bureau. During that period, prices fell in six of the 13 eurozone countries for which house price data are available.
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09.10.2013 13:16

Icelanders eager to travel abroad after poor summer

Travel fever seems to have gripped Icelanders in September, after the fairly lousy weather experienced in many parts of the country this summer.
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07.10.2013 13:02

Few economic indicators this week

Few interesting economic indicators will be published this week.
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04.10.2013 13:48

Ample trade surplus in September

There was an ample trade surplus in September, which was considerably higher than the other average monthly surpluses recorded so far this year.
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04.10.2013 13:47

Increased turnover in housing market

The total turnover in the housing market in the greater Reykjavík area was ISK 16.3 bn. in September and increased by 35% from the previous months.
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03.10.2013 12:25

Collective redundancies now more than last year

The Directorate of Labour received one notification of collective redundancies in September in which 32 people lost their jobs
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02.10.2013 15:37

Outlook for lowest Treasury bond issuance next year since the crash

It looks as of the net issuance of Treasury bonds and bills will be low next year and that the total issuance of Treasury securities will be at its lowest level since the crash.
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02.10.2013 13:04

Unchanged interest rate as forecast

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Iceland left its interest rate unchanged today, which was in line with official forecasts, including ours.
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30.09.2013 15:25

Trade surplus down by one quarter so far this year

So far this year the trade surplus has been a quarter lower than it was in the same period last year.
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30.09.2013 15:06

Draft budget, interest rate decision and interesting economic indicators

A number of important economic indicators will be published this week
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