September 12, 2017 / 1:41 PM / 10 months ago

Iceland govt aims to reduce debt in 2018 - draft budget

COPENHAGEN, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Iceland’s government on Tuesday presented a draft 2018 budget focused on using the country’s current strong economy to bring down its debt.

“It is important that the public sector take advantage of the favourable climate to reduce debt, rein in expenditure growth contributing to expansion, and ensure a surplus in public sector operations,” the Finance Ministry said in a statement.

Iceland’s gross treasury debt decreased by almost 200 billion crowns ($1.88 billion) in the first half of 2017, and is expected to decrease by around 36 billion in 2018.

The gross central government debt level is expected to be reduced from the current 35.8 percent to below 30 percent by 2019, the Finance Ministry said.

Iceland’s gross domestic product grew 3.4 percent in the second quarter of 2017 from the same period the previous year, the Icelandic statistics office said on Friday.

$1 = 106.4300 Icelandic Crowns Reporting by Copenhagen newsroom

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