economy of Iceland, chief occupation, European Free Trade Association, national budget, Private enterprise
Private enterprise forms the basis of the economy of Iceland, but the government exercises a considerable degree of control and supervision over key sectors. Until the close of the 19th century, agriculture was the chief occupation, with fishing as a supplementary source of income. By the middle of the 20th century, however, fishing and fish processing had become the major industries. Hydroelectric power potential is abundant and is being developed to further industrialization. In 1970 Iceland became a member of the European Free Trade Association. The national budget in 1998 included revenue of $2.4 billion and expenditure of $2.4 billion. Iceland suffered from a high rate of inflation in the late 1970s and the 1980s, but the rate decreased substantially in the early 1990s. In 2000 Icelandís gross domestic product was $8.5 billion.
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