Greece Outperforms Primary Surplus Target for Third Year in a Row



Greece has recorded a primary surplus of 4.0 percent of GDP, or 7.080 billion euros, in 2017, according to data released on Monday by country’s independent statistics agency (ELSTAT).

This is the third year in a row that Greece outperforms the target outlined under the bailout agreement. The target for 2017 was set at 1.75 percent.

A government official, speaking to Reuters on Friday, said increased social security contributions, income tax and Value Added Tax receipts had led to a cash windfall.

The figures are a sign that the unprecedented sacrifices of the Greek people are starting to pay off, European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said.

“These figures are pretty evident, they mean that Greece has outperformed its fiscal target now for the third year in a row,” he added.

ELSTAT also said that the country’s massive debt burden has eased by a fraction; from 315.009 billion euros (180.8 percent of GDP) in 2016 to 317.407 billion euros (178.6 percent of GDP) in 2017.

The general government’s spending totaled 85.322 billion euros (48.01 percent of GDP) in 2017, down from 86.271 billion euros (49.52 percent of GDP) in 2016, while revenue was 86.776 billion euros (48.82 percent of GDP) from 87.365 billion euros (50.15 percent of GDP) in 2016.

The Greek GDP amounted to 177.735 billion euros on 2017 from 174.199 billion in 2016.