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Argentine GDP Surged More-Than-Expected 8.3% in Quarter

Sept. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Argentina’s economy expanded at the fastest pace in about two years last quarter, boosting the chances that holders of securities linked to the country’s growth will be paid as much as $3 billion next year.

Gross domestic product expanded 8.3 percent from a year earlier, according to a report released today by the national statistics institute, compared with the 7.0 percent median estimate of nine economists in a Bloomberg survey.

President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is fueling growth by boosting spending and subsidies to fuel consumption ahead of congressional elections next month. Argentina’s economy needs to grow more than 3.22 percent to trigger an annual payment to holders of the country’s GDP warrants.

The International Monetary Fund in February censured Argentina for failing to report accurate data on inflation and GDP. Opposition lawmakers publish a monthly inflation report that shows consumer prices rising at more than double the 10.5 percent rate reported by the government.

Lawmakers opposed to the government released a report yesterday based on 12 forecasts by private economists that estimated growth at 5.4 percent in the second quarter. The economy grew 2 percent from the first quarter, they said.

International Reserves

“The government needs to stop lying because that will cost us about $3.8 billion in payments next year, and the truth is that we don’t have enough money,” opposition lawmaker Federico Pinedo told reporters yesterday. “This payment would lead to a significant drop in international reserves, would mean a biggest unbalance and we are concerned about the solvency of the central bank.”

Central bank reserves have fallen to $35.1 billion yesterday from about $45 billion a year ago.

Payment for GDP warrants based on this year’s growth will be made in December 2014, according to the bond prospectus.

Argentina posted a current account surplus of $650 million in the second quarter, compared with a revised surplus of $1.2 billion a year earlier.

The peso, whose rate is managed by the central bank, has weakened 15 percent this year. The currency was little changed today at 5.7604 per dollar.

Argentina, the world’s biggest exporter of soybean derivatives, produced 49.3 million metric tonnes during the 2012-2013 soybean season, the second-largest ever harvest, according to preliminary estimates by the Agriculture Ministry.

Export revenue from grains and oil seeds was $18.4 billion as of Sept. 13, compared with $23.1 billion in the whole of 2012, according to the Association of Grain Exporters.

To contact the reporters on this story: Charlie Devereux in Buenos Aires at cdevereux3@bloomberg.net; Eliana Raszewski in Buenos Aires at eraszewski@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andre Soliani at asoliani@bloomberg.net

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