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Source: Reuters
By: Reporting by Karina Grazina; Writing by Luis Andres Henao; Editing by Andrew Hay

Argentina's economy is on track to grow 9 percent this year, the central bank said in a report, raising its previous estimate of 7 percent and bringing it in line with government forecasts.

Latin America's No. 3 economy is growing at one of the region's fastest rates, boosting appetite for the nation's growth-linked securities and bolstering President Cristina Fernandez's approval ratings ahead of a 2011 presidential election.

"Argentina's strong economic expansion has forced us to revise our forecast upward to 9 percent growth for 2010, above the previous report," the central bank said in its quarterly report released late on Thursday.

The government's 2010 budget bill foresaw growth of 2.5 percent, but officials have raised the estimate to 9 percent as the economy continues to be fueled by strong demand for Argentine-made cars and manufactured goods from neighboring Brazil and a bumper soybean and corn harvest.

Argentine shares and bonds rose this week after the death of former President Nestor Kirchner. Married to Argentina's current president, Kirchner was regarded as market-unfriendly by many investors. He was seen having a strong influence on economic policy and was expected to run for the country's 2011 presidential election.

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