January-August primary budget surplus at 2.9 billion euros, beats target


Greece's central government achieved a primary budget surplus of 2.9 billion euros in the first eight months of the year, well above its target thanks to higher revenues, Finance Ministry data showed on Monday.

The government was projecting a primary budget deficit – which excludes debt-servicing costs – of 272 million euros ($300.72 million) for the January-August period, meaning the surplus outperformed the target by 3.175 billion euros.

The surplus excludes the budgets of social security funds and local administration. It differs from the figure monitored by Greece's foreign lenders but does indicate the state of the country's finances.

Net tax revenue came in at 33.12 billion euros – 2.42 billion euros above target. Spending reached 34.7 billion euros – 965 million euros below target.

The government projects a primary budget surplus of 3.6 percent of economic output this year, according to its 2019 budget.

The post-bailout target set by Greece's lenders is for a primary surplus of 3.5 percent of GDP. [Reuters]