WASHINGTON - S&P Global Ratings late Friday raised the rating on Greek government debt by a notch citing the improved outlook for the crisis-stricken country's finances and economic growth.

The rating on Athens' long-term debt was improved to "B" from "B-" with a positive outlook, which means the ratings agency could raise the grade further in the next year.

"The upgrade reflects Greece's steadily improving general government finances and its gradually recovering economic prospects," S&P said in a statement.

The agency notes the government had budget surpluses in 2016 and 2017 and "the economy exited a multiyear recession last year."

S&P projects Greece will see its economy grow two percent this year.

However, the agency cautioned that it could revise the outlook "if there are large policy shifts that reverse the reform process, or if growth outcomes are significantly weaker than we expect."

Eurozone finance ministers on Monday are expected to ratify an accord to release the latest installment of its third rescue program for Greece, which runs to August 2018.

By the end of September 2017, Greece had received over 221 billion euros from European institutions and a further 11.5 billion from the IMF.

In July, Greece made a symbolic return to debt markets after a three-year hiatus, selling three billion euros' worth of five-year bonds at 4.625 percent, lower than its previous outing in 2014.

S&P said it could upgrade the Greek debt rating if the country exits the rescue program with enough funds to service its debts.