Greek 2018 primary budget surplus exceeds forecasts, at 4.4%

Greece's statistical authority says the country's budget execution was better than expected in 2018, with tough revenue-boosting measures raising the primary surplus to 4.4% of annual output

ATHENS, Greece -- Greece's budget performance in 2018 was better than expected following some revenue-boosting measures by the government.

According to the country's statistical agency, Greece recorded a primary budget surplus, which excludes the cost of servicing the country's vast public debt, of 4.4% of its annual output. That's ahead of government projections of 4.1%.

The agency also said Tuesday that the country's debt mountain rose to 181% of GDP in 2018, from 176% in 2017.

Greece's debt dynamics have been shaken by a debt crisis that led to a deep recession and forced Athens in 2010 to seek a massive international bailout. In exchange for the loans, successive governments implemented strict austerity measures.

Though Greece ended its bailout era last summer, it still has to post surpluses for years to come.