Greece attains 4.4 pct of GDP primary surplus in 2018

Greece attains 4.4 pct of GDP primary surplus in 2018

Greece improved its public finances last year, achieving a general government surplus of 1.1 percent of gross domestic product compared to a slightly revised 0.7 percent of GDP in 2017, the country's statistics agency ELSTAT said on Tuesday.

Under ESA 2010 guidelines, the general government's primary budget balance, which excludes debt servicing outlays, reached a surplus of 4.4 percent of economic output last year, higher than a revised 3.9 percent reading in 2017.

ELSTAT did not calculate a figure for the primary budget balance under the country's bailout program, where there is a different statistical treatment on some expenditure and revenue items.

Under the bailout program which ended in August 2018, Greece's primary surplus target last year was 3.5 percent of GDP. The target for this year is also 3.5 percent of GDP.

ELSTAT also said Greece's general government debt rose to 181.1 percent of GDP last year from a downwardly revised 176.2 percent in 2017. [Reuters]

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