Eurostat has announced that Greece’s primary surplus in 2017 was four percent, as compared to the government’s target of 1.75 percent of GDP.

The surplus of the General Government for 2017, according to ESA 2010, is estimated at 1.5 billion euros (0.8 percent of GDP), while the gross debt of the General Government in nominal value was 317.4 billion euros (178.6 percent of GDP).

More specifically, the primary surplus of the General Government last year was 7.08 billion euros, compared to 6.709 billion euros in 2016. In that same period, the public debt as a percentage of GDP fell from 180.8 percent to 178.6 percent. However, it increased in absolute numbers from 315 billion euros to 317.407 euros.

Greece’s GDP last year was 177.335 billion euros, compared to 174.199 billion euros in 2016.

According to the data, the revenues of the general government were 86.77 billion euros, slightly less than the 87.36 billion euros in 2016. Expenditures were 85.322 billion euros, a drop from 2016 (86.271 euros).

The exceedingly large primary surplus is expected to be used by the government in talks with the IMF to avoid the Fund’s demand that Athens lower the tax-free threshold earlier than 2019, as is currently planned.