Greek central bank head sees primary surplus at 1.3% of GDP

Source:Reuters Published: 2016/7/31 22:23:39

Greece's central bank forecasts the country will post a primary surplus of 1.3 percent of GDP this year, its governor Yannis ­Stournaras told a Greek newspaper.

Under its third international bailout signed last summer, Greece aims at a primary surplus (which excludes debt servicing costs) of 0.5 percent of GDP this year.

The bank had forecast earlier this month the country would achieve a surplus of 0.9 percent this year.

"Fiscal hurdles for 2016 have been overcome and the forecast by the [central] Bank of Greece is that the year will close with a primary surplus of 1.3 percent of GDP," Stournaras was quoted as saying by Sunday's To Vima newspaper.

He said Greece has fiscal room and will not need to activate a contingency mechanism of across-the-board spending cuts that was agreed upon with its international lenders if the country missed its fiscal targets.

Greece has been cutting spending and raising taxes since 2010 to put its finances back on track.

Stournaras said that if the country wants to end austerity, it should make headway on privatization and reform.

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