This Selected Issues paper focuses on the European Monetary Union and the monetary policy framework in Iceland. It concludes that in terms of an exchange rate regime, the two most realistic options for Iceland are to continue with the existing arrangement or adopt a unilateral peg to the euro. However, it is argued that both options entail the need for enhancing the independence of the central bank, which will require reforming the Central Bank of Iceland Act. The paper also discusses a Scandinavian forecasting model for inflation in Iceland.
Australia’s 2004 Article IV Consultation reports that economic growth has rebounded, underpinned by continued buoyancy of domestic demand, an improvement in the external environment, and a gradual recovery from the drought. The main risk to the outlook relates to overheating in the housing market, but recent indicators suggest a soft landing is likely. Other risks include a re-emergence of drought, sustained high oil prices, or a weakening of external demand.
Vanuatu has maintained macroeconomic stability, but real GDP growth slowed despite the receipt of considerable foreign assistance and the implementation of structural reforms under the Comprehensive Reform Program (CRP). A sharp increase in liquidity, a consequent bulge in consumption, and a rise in imports have affected Vanuatu's recent economic performance. Inflation, as measured by the consumer price index for the main urban centers, has remained moderate in recent years. The paper also discusses prices and population, financial sector, and external sector developments of Vanuatu.