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Source: WSJ
By: Ken Parks

BUENOS AIRES (Dow Jones)--The Central Bank of Argentina said Monday that it expects the economy to expand about 9% this year, with slower growth in 2012.

"For next year, the economy is forecast to continue its expansion, but at more moderate rates due to expectations of a weaker increase in global economic activity," the central bank said in its fourth-quarter inflation report.

The central bank's projection compares with the government's forecast for growth of 8.2% this year and 5.1% in 2012.

Argentina's economy is booming thanks to fiscal stimulus, a consumer spending spree, and strong demand for exports like cars and grains.

However, the central bank warned that an uncertain outlook for the global economy might affect Argentina due to slower growth in the economies of key trading partners and a retrenchment by nervous consumers at home.

The central bank held its forecast for this year's trade surplus unchanged at $8 billion.

Argentina's trade surplus has gradually shrunk due to the torrid demand for imports. The country posted a surplus of $11.6 billion last year.

"For 2012, a trade surplus is expected, but its magnitude will depend on the evolution of raw materials prices and global economic activity," the monetary authority said.

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