Faroe Islands Economy - overview

Factbook > Countries > Faroe Islands > Economy

Economy - overview: The Faroese economy has experienced a period of significant growth since 2011, due to higher fish prices and increased salmon farming and catches in the pelagic fisheries. Nominal GDP, measured in current prices, grew 8.0% in 2015 and 7.8% in 2016. The fisheries sector accounts for about 97% of exports and half of GDP. Dependence on fishing makes the economy vulnerable to price fluctuations. Unemployment is low, estimated at 2.5% in early 2017. Aided by an annual subsidy from Denmark, which amounts to about 4% of Faroese GDP, Faroese have a standard of living equal to that of Denmark.

For the first time in 8 years the Faroe Islands managed to generate a public budget surplus in 2016, a trend which is continuing in 2017. The local government intends to use this to reduce public debt, which reached 38% of GDP in 2015. Increasing public infrastructure investments are likely to lead to continued growth in the short term, but could contribute to an overheating of the economy. Signs of overheating led the Danish Central Bank in fall of 2016 to advise the Faroese local government to initiate measures to cool the economy, including postponing spending on infrastructure spending. The local government is planning to allocate part of the expected public surplus to a business cycle-equalization fund.

Definition: This entry briefly describes the type of economy, including the degree of market orientation, the level of economic development, the most important natural resources, and the unique areas of specialization. It also characterizes major economic events and policy changes in the most recent 12 months and may include a statement about one or two key future macroeconomic trends.

Source: CIA World Factbook - This page was last updated on July 9, 2017

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