Eurostat: Four percent primary surplus for 2017


To Vima — Eurostat has announced that Greece’s primary surplus in 2017 was four percent, well above the government’s target of 1.75 percent of GDP.

The surplus of the General Government for 2017, according to ESA 2010, is estimated at 1.5 billion euros (0.8 percent of GDP), while the gross debt of the General Government in nominal value was 317.4 billion euros (178.6 percent of GDP).

More specifically, the primary surplus of the General Government last year was 7.08 billion euros, compared to 6.709 billion euros in 2016. In that same period, the public debt as a percentage of GDP fell from 180.8 percent to 178.6 percent as the GDP increased from 174.199 billion euros to 177.335 billion euros, . However, it increased in absolute numbers from 315 billion euros to 317.407 euros.

According to the data, the revenues of the general government were 86.77 billion euros, slightly down from the  87.36 billion euros in 2016. Expenditure stood at 85.322 billion euros, a drop from 86.271 euros in 2016.

The large primary surplus is expected to be used as an argument  by the government in talks with the IMF to avoid demands that Athens lowers the tax-free threshold earlier than 2019, as is currently planned.