BUENOS AIRES, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Argentina posted a primary budget deficit of 723.3 million pesos ($146.5 million) in November as spending growth outpaced rising revenue, government data showed on Wednesday.
Latin America's No. 3 economy posted a primary budget surplus of 425.9 million pesos in the same month a year earlier and November's result is the first deficit since June.
The primary budget balance shows government savings before debts are paid. It was an important indicator of fiscal health in Argentina, which has been virtually shut out of global credit markets since a 2002 default.
After debt repayments, November's data showed a fiscal deficit of 2.27 billion pesos. That compares with a deficit of just 50.4 million pesos in the same month a year earlier.
Primary spending rose a brisk 38.5 percent to 63.34 billion pesos, fueled largely by layouts to cover pension benefits and outpacing growth in tax revenue.
Tax income rose 28 percent in November year-on-year.
November's figure brings the primary budget surplus in the first 11 months of 2012 to 6.67 billion pesos, the Economy Ministry said.
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($1 = 4.9375 Argentine pesos)
(Reporting by Helen Popper and Karina Grazina; Editing by Sandra Maler, Andrew Hay and M.D. Golan) Keywords: ARGENTINA ECONOMY/BUDGET
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