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BUENOS AIRES, Dec 12 (Reuters) - Argentina's primary budget deficit was 15.2 billion pesos ($1.8 billion) versus a shortfall of 2.8 billion pesos in October last year, the economy ministry said on Friday.
The primary budget balance, which measures government spending relative to income and does not include debt payments, is followed closely by the markets as an indicator of Argentina's ability to meet its financial obligations.
The South American grains exporting country is struggling with high inflation, a stagnant economy and faces a special financing challenge due to being locked out of the global bond market since its 2002 sovereign debt default.
Reporting by Jorge Otaola; writing by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama