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By: Eliana Raszewski
BUENOS AIRES, July 17 (Reuters) - Argentina's new subsidized mortgage scheme is gathering steam, boosting construction activity and winning over the middle class ahead of mid-term elections in October that will determine the future of President Mauricio Macri's market-friendly agenda.
Argentines took out 3.7 billion pesos ($219.32 million) in mortgage loans in June, up from 558 million pesos in the same month last year, central bank data shows. While the overall amount is still modest, it is a notable leap in an economy where high inflation discourages many from seeking credit.
That primarily benefits the urban middle-class, who largely supported Macri in 2015 elections after more than a decade of leftist rule, but have since suffered from high inflation and utility price hikes.
"For the middle class, which is large, all this spurs the economy and generates activity," Ivan Kerr, national subsecretary of urban development and housing, told Reuters in an interview at his Buenos Aires office.
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