IMF: Greek primary budget surplus 3.3% for 2016 – trio of ministers told to keep ‘low profile’ at D.C. meetings

20 April 2017
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The IMF on Wednesday again touched on Greek program and the country’s fragile economy, saying it foresees that a primary budget surplus of 3.3 percent will be posted for 2016 – a figure higher by three percentage points than previously forecast.

Along those lines, the Fund also revised, upwards, primary budget surplus forecasts for the 2017-2019 period, although it continued to insist that a creditor-mandated target of 3.5 percent for 2018 (as a percentage of annual GDP) will not be achieved.

Along those lines, the IMF – days before the Fund’s annual spring meetings in Washington D.C. – said the primary budget surplus for 2019-2021 will not exceed 1.5 percent of GDP on an annual basis.

Additionally, the Fund forecasts that the country’s debt load, as a percentage of GDP, will gradually ease, after first reaching a peak in 2018. Revenues collected by the general government are also predicted to drop, as a percentage of GDP, for the period including 2020 and a brief time thereafter.

Meanwhile, in a related development, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras chaired a meeting of top ministers on Wednesday, ahead of the IMF’s spring meetings on Friday and Saturday .

The leftist Greek government is expected to be represented in Washington by Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos, Alternate FinMin Giorgos Chouliarakis and Economy Dimitri Papadimitriou.

According to reports out of the Greek capital this week, the Tsipras government aims to keep a “low-profile” in Washington, avoiding any hint of tabling new demands or publicly airing disagreements.

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