Greece Posts 2016 Primary Budget Surplus of 4.19% Vs. 0.5% Target--Greek Officials

Greece's 2016 primary surplus was 4.19% of its gross domestic product--more than eight times higher than its bailout target, according to Greek officials.

Under the terms of its bailout program, Greece's had to achieve a 0.5% primary budget surplus last year-before debt payments. The figures have to be verified by the European Union's statistics arm Eurostat on Monday.

Achieving high primary budget surpluses is key to the third bailout signed by Greece in mid-2015. Greece has to achieve a primary surplus of 1.75% in 2017, 3.5% in 2018 and maintain it for the medium term.

Earlier on Friday, the country's statistics agency, Elstat, said Greece's primary surplus stood at 3.9% of GDP under the EU accounting framework, versus a downwardly revised 2.3% deficit in 2015.

There is a different statistical treatment on some expenditure and revenue items under the terms of the bailout program.

Greece posted a 0.7% general government surplus of 0.7% of GDP, from a 5.9% deficit in 2015, Elstat said.

The country's general government debt rose to 179% of GDP last year from 177.4% in 2015, the figures showed.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 21, 2017 08:50 ET (12:50 GMT)