The IMF Country Reports Series covers economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with officials of the country, is published at the option of the member.
This paper describes the Stand-By Arrangement for Iceland under the Emergency Financing Mechanism. The crisis is producing a sharp contraction of economic activity. Indicators of consumption are plummeting, and the deterioration in the labor market is accelerating, with rising unemployment and falling real wages contributing to a considerable contraction in real incomes. Significant import compression is under way, allowing a sustained turnaround in the trade balance, as exports continue to benefit from a weaker króna. The króna interbank market is inactive, and equity markets remain under pressure with trade being thin.