Greek 2011 deficit at 9.1 pct of GDP

Greece’s budget deficit reached 9.1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) last year, in line with expectations, compared to a downwardly revised shortfall of 10.3 percent in 2010, the country’s statistics service ELSTAT said on Monday.

“According to provisional data, the deficit of the general government, as measured under the excessive deficit procedure (EDP) is estimated at 19.6 billion euros or 9.1 percent of GDP,» ELSTAT said.

Greece has shrunk its budget gap from 15.8 percent of GDP in 2009 on the back of income and property tax increases, a rise in the value added tax and cuts in wages and pensions.

But its primary balance, which excludes debt servicing costs, remains in deficit mode due to a deep recession. [Reuters]