Iceland to Maintain Budget Surplus Through 2024 Despite Slowdown

Iceland will continue to reduce public debt and sustain a budget surplus even as it lowers taxes in the next five years, Finance Minister Bjarni Benediktsson said. The plan is part of a financial road map that envisages a Treasury surplus of 0.8 percent to 1 percent of gross domestic product between 2020 and 2024, the minister said in an interview. The program includes tax breaks for households and companies, boost to housing and transport services and a fund to protect the nation from financial shocks. Growth in the smallest Nordic economy will cool to 1.8 percent this year, the slowest pace since 2012, according to projections by the Central Bank of Iceland. Inflation fell to 3 percent in February when the trade balance swung to a deficit. The financial plan projects a decrease in taxes as well as the Treasury’s debt levels and interest burden. It also expects the bank tax to be lowered in four steps between 2020 and 2023. - Bloomberg -



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