A strong restrain in spending, a recipe the Greek government has been following blindly for the past two years, is the main reason the budget surplus has beaten its target so far.
Greece’s central government attained a primary budget surplus of 4.66 billion euros ($5.52 billion) in the eleven months to November, Finance ministry data showed on Thursday.
The government’s target was for a primary budget surplus – which excludes debt-servicing costs – of 3.07 billion euros for the January-to-November period, meaning the surplus outperformed the target by 1.58 billion euros.
The central government surplus excludes the budgets of social security organizations and local administration. It is different from the figure monitored by Greece’s EU/IMF lenders but indicates the state of the country’s finances.
Net tax revenue came in at 43.8 billion euros, 517 million euros above target, while spending reached 45.9 billion euros, 1.7 billion euros below target.
The government estimates a general government primary budget surplus of 2.4% of GDP this year, based on its 2018 budget. The bailout target is for a primary surplus of 1.75% of GDP.