Greek ministry-affiliated council of experts: 3.7% primary budget surplus in 2017

Friday, 06 April 2018 20:37
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A finance ministry council of experts calculated Greece's annual primary budget surplus at 3.7 percent of GDP in 2017, with the growth rate reaching 1.4 percent, a lower figure than previous forecasts by the government, the EU Commission and other institutional bodies.

According to a report signed by members of the council, the primary budget surplus, in absolute terms, reached 5.93 billion euros, while the fourth quarter exhibited the highest growth rate, 1.9 percent on an annualized basis. 

Another "plus" cited in the same report is the fact that all three major international ratings firms - S&P, Fitch and Moody's - upgraded Greece's credit rating, by two levels - albeit the still below the point the country was in 2014.

The council also foresees unemployment easing to 20.8. 

The increase in private deposits held in local banks increased by 5.73 billion euros over 2017, which the report says leads to an even lower dependence on the European Central Bank's ELA credit line, as well as a loosening of capital controls - a still lingering byproduct of the Tsipras government's shambolic negotiations with institutional creditors in the first half of 2015.

The current accounts deficit also fell in 2017 to 1.45 billion euros, while travel revenues also increased by 10.5 percent, to stand at 14.6 billion euros, according to the finance ministry-affiliated council.  

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