Greece's central government achieved a primary budget surplus of 3.14 billion euros ($3.67 billion) in the first eight months of the year, well above target, thanks to higher revenues and lower spending, Finance Ministry data showed on Friday.
The government was targeting a primary budget deficit – which excludes debt-servicing costs – of 917 million euros for the January-to-August period, meaning the surplus outperformed the target by 2.2 billion euros.
The central government surplus excludes the budgets of social security funds and local administration. It differs from the figure monitored by Greece's EU/IMF lenders but indicates the state of the country's finances.
The government projects a primary budget surplus of 3.8 percent of economic output this year, according to its 2018 budget. The bailout target is for a primary surplus of 3.5 percent of GDP. [Reuters]