Bud­get sur­plus beats H1 tar­get on lower spend­ing

Kathimerini English - - Focus -

Greece’s cen­tral gov­ern­ment at­tained a pri­mary bud­get sur­plus of 1.93 bil­lion eu­ros in the first half of the year, beat­ing its tar­get by 1.5 bil­lion eu­ros thanks to lower spend­ing, fi­nance min­istry data showed yes­ter­day. 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. The gov­ern­ment’s tar­get was for a pri­mary bud­get sur­plus - which ex­cludes debt-ser­vic­ing costs – of 431 mil­lion eu­ros for the first six months of the year. Net tax rev­enue came in at 21.3 bil­lion eu­ros, 73 mil­lion eu­ros above tar­get, while spend­ing reached 22.9 bil­lion eu­ros, be­low a tar­get of 24 bil­lion eu­ros. The gov­ern­ment is aim­ing for a gen­eral gov­ern­ment pri­mary bud­get sur­plus of 1.9 per­cent of GDP this year, based on its medium term fis­cal strat­egy plan. The bailout tar­get is for a pri­mary sur­plus of 1.75 per­cent of GDP. It over­shot its bailout tar­get last year after achiev­ing a gen­eral gov­ern­ment pri­mary bud­get sur­plus of 4.2 per­cent of GDP. The Euro­pean Com­mis­sion said on Wednesday that Greece’s fis­cal po­si­tion has im­proved and the Euro­pean Union should end dis­ci­plinary pro­ce­dures against it over its ex­ces­sive deficit, paving the way for the coun­try to re­turn to in­ter­na­tional bond mar­kets.

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