November 14, 2018 / 3:30 PM / a month ago

Greece's primary budget surplus for Jan-Oct beats target

People make their way past the National Bank of Greece headquarters in central Athens, Greece, February 19, 2017. Picture taken February 19, 2017. REUTERS/Michalis Karagiannis

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece’s central government exceeded its target and achieved a primary budget surplus of 6.46 billion euros (5.63 billion pounds) in the 10 months to October, thanks to higher revenues and lower spending, finance ministry data showed on Wednesday.

The government was targeting a primary budget surplus — which excludes debt-servicing costs — of 3.58 billion euros for the January-to-October period. The surplus beat that by 2.87 billion euros.

The central government surplus excludes the budgets of social security funds and local administration. It differs 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 42.43 billion euros, 839 million euros above target. Spending reached 40.78 billion euros, 1.93 million euros below target.

The government projects a primary budget surplus of 3.82 percent of economic output this year, according to its 2018 budget. The target set by the country’s lenders is for a primary surplus of 3.5 percent of GDP.

Reporting by Lefteris Papadimas, editing by Larry King

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