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Argentina’s Senate Approves Fernandez-Backed 2012 Budget Bill

Dec. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Argentina’s Senate approved today President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s budget bill for 2012 that includes a plan to use $5.7 billion in central bank reserves to pay debt.

Senators voted 44 to 26 in favor of the initiative. According to the bill, which was approved last week by the lower house of Congress, South America’s second-biggest economy will grow 5.1 percent next year, while the trade surplus will narrow to $8.6 billion from $9 billion in 2011.

Next year’s primary surplus, which excludes interest payments, will be 2.5 percent of gross domestic product while the overall surplus will be 0.2 percent of GDP, the bill said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eliana Raszewski in Buenos Aires at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Goodman at

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