January 15, 2020 / 10:03 AM / 11 days ago

UPDATE 1-Greek Jan-Dec primary budget surplus beats target

(Adds detail)

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.

Net tax revenue came in at 55.019 billion euros — 7 million euros below target. Spending reached 55.244 billion euros — 620 million euros below target.

Under a post-bailout plan agreed with its lenders, Greece aims to achieve a primary surplus of 3.5% of GDP this year.

$1 = 0.8983 euros Reporting by Lefteris Papadimas; Editing by Catherine Evans

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