Although tax revenues were down in January, Greece achieved a budget surplus of 159 million euros, against a target for an 873-million-euro deficit in the first month of 2013.
According to preliminary data for January made public by the Finance Ministry on Monday, the primary surplus, which does not include interest payments, was 398 million euros against a target of a 413-million-euro deficit and a deficit of 33 million euros in January 2012.
"There preliminary state budget execution data for January show that the country is continuinb the necessary fiscal adjustment," said alternate Finance Minister Christos Staikouras. "The balance for January is positive. We have a primary surplus."
The surplus was produced largely through a further reduction in public spending. Primary expenditure for January was 3.9 billion euros, which was 679 million euros or 14.7 percent better than the target and an 18.8 percent improvement on last January.
Revenues, however, were down in January as state earnings from VAT and consumption tax fell.
Overall, budget revenues stood at 4.4 billion euros, which was 241 million euros or 5.2 percent short of the target and 11.5 percent down year on year.