Report: Greece exceeding surplus target but IMF doubtful about future performance


Greece achieved a 2016 primary surplus almost seven times higher than its bailout target, but the International Monetary Fund is doubtful that the country can keep overperforming, according to a Bloomberg report Wednesday.

According to an unidentified finance ministry official quoted by Bloomberg, Greece’s statistical authority (ELSTAT) will on Friday announce that last year’s primary surplus was close to 4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). The data will be validated by the EU’s statistical authority, or Eurostat, on Monday.

Athens had agreed with lenders to achieve a primary surplus of 0.5 percent of GDP.

“The IMF is not convinced Greece will be able to maintain that level of performance for 2018 and beyond,” the report said.

The source told Bloomberg that, according to the Washington-based organization, at least half of the primarily surplus for 2016 came from one-off measures rather than structural reforms with a long-term impact.

Greece's fiscal path after its current program ends in the summer of 2018 is one of the subjects that its lenders are set to discuss at the upcoming IMF Spring Meetings in Washington, along with debt relief measures for the medium-term.