Argentine Congress OKs 2014 budget, GDP growth seen at 6.2 pct

Reuters

BUENOS AIRES, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Argentina's Senate hasgiven final legislative approval to the government's 2014spending plan, based on projected economic growth of 6.2 percentnext year, well above the threshold for payment on the country'sgrowth-linked debt.

The 2014 budget bill passed the upper chamber of Congresslate Wednesday night by a 40 to 27 vote.

The legislature's lower Chamber of Deputies already approvedthe measure. The bill becomes law once it is published in thegovernment's official gazette.

For 2013, gross domestic product in the South Americangrains exporting country is expected by the government to expand5.1 percent.

That follows GDP growth of 1.9 percent in 2012 and 8.9percent in 2011, according to official figures.

Last year growth was hampered by weak global demand, adrought-hit grain harvest, high inflation and the impact ofcurrency controls on investment.

Argentina's forecast 2013 growth is set to beat the regionalaverage. The economies of Latin America and the Caribbean areseen expanding 3 percent this year, as a gloomier global economyrestrains exports and domestic demand, a United Nations bodysaid in July.

But many analysts are skeptical about the accuracy ofArgentina's official economic data.

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