Greece extended its price range surplus final year, reflecting the leftwing Syriza government’s expectations of a record-busting figure, in the most current sign of Athens pleasing investors soon after a decade-extended debt crisis that took it to the brink of leaving the eurozone.

A single of the bloc’s poorest members showed a surplus of 1.1 per cent of gross domestic item for 2018, compared with a revised .7 per cent for the earlier year, and a far cry from its five.six per cent deficit of 2015, its statistics workplace stated on Tuesday.

Figures published in December for the initially 11 months of 2018 had shown that Greece would outperform the year’s target for the key price range surplus — that is, ahead of paying interest and principal due on public debt — by a a great deal wider margin than previously forecast.

Athens is committed to a key price range surplus of three.five per cent of GDP each and every year in between 2018 and 2022, a criterion soon after it exited its €86bn third bailout in August and a important step in in search of to place its economic travails behind it.

Greece’s consolidated gross government debt rose 5 percentage points to 181.1 per cent of GDP in 2018. Its GDP was €184.7bn, up from €180.2bn in 2017, Elstat stated.

All round, the 19-member eurozone reported a government deficit of .five per cent of output at the finish of December, from 1 per cent in 2017, with government debt down to 85.1 per cent, from 87.1 per cent, Eurostat stated on Tuesday.

Italy bucked that trend, seeing its debt increasing .eight percentage points year on year to 132.four per cent of GDP — 1.three percentage points larger than Brussels had forecast, in the most current indication that the Mediterranean nation is struggling to meet EU price range targets.

Greece, which was the concentrate of a debt crisis that started in Europe a decade ago, final month sold its initially 10-year bond considering that it had emerged from a quantity of bailouts, raising €2.5bn of paper priced at a three.9 per cent yield. Athens was shut out of international capital markets nine years ago and was forced to seek the initially of 3 bailouts from the EU and the IMF.

Bond yields this month hit their lowest level in almost 14 years, marking a stark contrast from eight years ago when they climbed above 40 per cent, according to Refinitiv information.