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Greece attains primary surplus of 3.9 pct of GDP

Greece improved its public finances last year, achieving a general government surplus of 0.7 percent of gross domestic product compared to a 5.9 percent of GDP deficit in 2015, the country’s statistics agency ELSTAT said on Friday.

Under ESA 2010 guidelines, the general government’s primary balance, excluding debt servicing, reached a surplus of 3.9 percent of economic output last year versus a downwardly revised 2.3 percent deficit in 2015.

ELSTAT did not calculate a figure for the primary budget balance under the country’s bailout programme, where there is a different statistical treatment on some expenditure and revenue items.

Under the bailout programme, Greece had a primary surplus target of 0.5 percent of GDP. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has said the country strongly outperformed, delivering a surplus of at least 3.5 percent of GDP.

ELSTAT also said Greece’s general government debt rose to 179 percent of GDP last year from 177.4 percent in 2015. (Reuters)

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