Greek January-March government primary budget surplus beats target

ATHENS, April 16 (Reuters) - Greece’s central government attained a primary budget surplus of 2.32 billion euros ($2.87 billion) in the first three months of the year, well above its target thanks to higher tax revenues, finance ministry data showed on Monday.

The government was targeting a primary budget surplus - which excludes debt-servicing costs - of 1.09 billion euros for the January-to-March period, meaning the surplus outperformed the target by 1.22 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 11.05 billion euros, 361 million euros above target, while spending reached 11.35 billion euros, two million euros above target.

The government projects a primary budget surplus of 3.82 percent of economic output this year, according to its 2018 budget. The bailout target is for a primary surplus of 3.5 percent of GDP. ($1 = 0.8088 euros) (Reporting by George Georgiopoulos)