Greece’s Primary Surplus Beats Target

surplusThe Greek government announced on Tuesday that the country has achieved a primary surplus of 2.5 billion euros, or 1.4% of gross domestic product, between January and September.

Alternate Finance Minister Christos Staikouras stated that the primary surplus has surpassed the target of 1.5 billion euros, or 0.8% of GDP, presented in the government’s mid-term fiscal program.

Earlier this month, Greece announced a primary surplus of 2.5 billion euros in the period from January to August, a sharp increase from a primary surplus of 1.2 billion euros recorded in the same period last year.

Christos Staikouras noted that the data confirmed predictions that the country will outpace the IMF target for a primary budget surplus of 1.5 percent of GDP for 2014.

Although the government’s data suggests that the Greek crisis is coming to an end, a study of 2013 Greek living standards by statistics agency ELSTAT showed that 20.3 percent of Greeks could not afford a one-week vacation or eating chicken or meat every other day.

Nearly a third could not afford to keep their homes warm last year – a frequent complaint after the debt-ridden government raised taxes on heating oil to boost state coffers.