July 16, 2018 / 1:45 PM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Greek Jan-June government primary budget surplus beats target

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ATHENS, July 16 (Reuters) - Greece’s central government achieved a primary budget surplus of 617 million euros ($722.20 million) in the first six months of the year, well above target, thanks to much lower spending, finance ministry data showed on Monday.

The government was targeting a primary budget deficit — which excludes debt-servicing costs — of 465 million euros for the January-to-June period, meaning the surplus outperformed the target by 1 billion euros.

The central government surplus excludes the budgets of social security funds 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 20.7 billion euros, 87 million euros above target, while spending reached 24.3 billion euros, 800 million euros below target.

The government projects a primary budget surplus of 3.8 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 = 0.8543 euros Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Catherine Evans

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