BUENOS AIRES, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Argentina's economicactivity grew 4.7 percent in September compared with the samemonth last year, the government said on Friday, exceeding marketexpectations.
Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a 3.9 rise in themonthly EMAE economic activity index, which theysaid benefited from increased consumption due to more businessdays in September than the year-ago month.
However, in a sign growth may be cooling despite the strongannual figure, the INDEC statistics office said that Septembereconomic activity, which is a close proxy for gross domesticproduct, was flat compared with August.
Government data on Friday also showed Argentina's inflationrate edged up to 0.9 percent in October comparedwith 0.8 percent in September.
The country's inflation figures, and to a lesser extent itsgrowth data, are widely disputed and private economistsestimated that consumer prices rose 2.1 percent last month.
The International Monetary Fund censured Argentina inFebruary for failing to improve the accuracy of its economicdata and on Wednesday said it would meet on Dec. 9 to review areport on the topic.
The government of the South American grains exportingcountry expects gross domestic product to expand 5.1 percent in2013, following GDP growth of 1.9 percent in 2012 and 8.9percent in 2011, according to official figures.
Accumulated growth through September was up 5.4 percent fromthe same period of 2012, according to INDEC. If growth surpasses3.22 percent in 2013, the government will be required to dipinto diminishing foreign currency reserves and pay up to $3billion in GDP-linked bond warrants in 2014.
Last year's growth was restricted by weak global demand, adrought-hit grain harvest, high inflation and the negativeimpact of currency controls on investment in Latin America's No.3 economy. In September of 2012, Argentina's economy contracted0.7 percent on an annual basis.
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