Wall Street Journal
December 12, 2013
The Greek government posted a primary budget surplus of €2.67 billion ($3.68 billion) for the first 11 months of the year, remaining on track to meet annual fiscal targets, data from the Finance Ministry showed Thursday.
Excluding bond profit returns of €1.5 billion from the European central banks to Athens, the surplus amounts to €1.2 billion between January and November of 2013.
Earlier this week, Greece's parliament approved the government's 2014 budget, which shows that Greece expects a primary surplus of €812 million for 2013, double the government's own forecasts from two months ago.
This was Greece's first in a decade, strengthening Athens's hand in negotiations with its creditors—the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. A primary surplus excludes debt payments.