Greece beats a key bailout target for 2016

25 April, 2017, 12:47 | Author: Celia Hoffman
  • Greece’s independent statistics agency says the country has posted a high primary budget surplus in 2016 at 3.9 percent of gross domestic product. (AP

Schinas also noted that Eurostat, the European Union statistical authority, has confirmed Greece's 2016 budget figures, which far exceeded forecasts.

"It is more than eight times above target", Tzanakopoulos said in a statement.

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

Under EU-IMF standards, the surplus was even larger.

Representatives of Greece's global creditors are due in Athens to restart talks on further cutbacks required under the country's bailout deal. Greece has to reach a primary surplus of 1.75% in 2017 and 3.5% in 2018 and maintain it at that level in the medium term.

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An ever-tightening time-frame to finally conclude the long-delayed second review of the Greek program emerged from Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos high-profile meetings over the weekend at the annual World Bank and International Monetary Fund spring meetings in Washington D.C. The IMF's participation is seen as a condition for Germany to unlock new funds to Greece.

"We discussed when the institutions will return [to Athens]; I think Tuesday or Wednesday".

Under the terms of its bailout program, Greece had to reach a 0.5% primary budget surplus in 2016.

Achieving high primary budget surpluses is key to the third bailout signed by Greece in mid-2015.

"Therefore, the targets set under the bailout programme for 2017 and 2018 will certainly be attained". "It's an impressive outperformance versus the bailout program target for the primary surplus", said Athens-based Eurobank's chief economist Platon Monokroussos.

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