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Greek Jan-Dec primary budget surplus beats target

ATHENS, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Greece’s central government achieved a primary budget surplus of 4.96 billion euros ($5.52 billion) in the 12 months to December, above target, thanks to lower spending, finance ministry data showed on Wednesday.

The government was projecting a primary budget surplus - which excludes debt-servicing costs - of 4.4 billion euros for the January-December period, meaning the surplus outperformed the target by 560 million 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. ($1 = 0.8983 euros) (Reporting by Lefteris Papadimas)