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Puerto Rico's revenues rise 4.4 percent in third quarter

Oct 7 (Reuters) - Puerto Rico's revenues for the three months through September rose by $70 million, or 4.4 percent, over the same period a year ago to a provisional $1.68 billion, the island's treasury secretary said on Monday.

The revenues, which jumped 18 percent in the month of September alone, still came in $7 million below current budget estimates for the quarter.

The new budget for Puerto Rico is based on a large increase in revenues for the 12 months through June 2014, the result of massive tax hikes aimed at easing worries among municipal bond investors. The budget has a deficit of more than $800 million.

"We feel confident about our preliminary first quarter FY 2014 revenue growth," Treasury Secretary Melba Acosta Febo said in a statement.

"The preliminary figures demonstrate the results of the new tax legislation and the significant fiscal responsibility measures we've adopted," Acosta Febo said.

Yields on the debt recently peaked above 10 percent as interest rates have risen across the markets.

The government, a major issuer of municipal debt, said privately placed short-term deals would help keep financing costs at bay while recently enacted reforms, such as tax hikes and a reform of the main pension system, will start having a positive effect on the budget.