(Adds data on exports, VAT)
BUENOS AIRES, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Argentina’s tax revenues increased roughly in line with inflation in the year to August, but a fall in export taxes underscored the ailing health of Latin America’s third-biggest economy, which is in recession and has defaulted on its debt.
The government said on Monday that overall tax revenues rose 31.3 percent over the 12 month period to 99.7 billion pesos ($11.852 billion). This fell short of the median forecast of 103 billion pesos in a Reuters poll of analysts
Private economists have estimated Argentina’s inflation at between 30 percent and 35 percent, which would mean the increase in tax revenue is largely explained by consumer price increases.
Tax revenue on exports in August fell 3.4 percent year-on-year to 6.6 billion pesos. Argentine grain farmers have been stung by low world prices for soy, wheat and corn, while the South American country’s car industry is confronted by anemic demand in its main export market, Brazil.
Argentina is a leading exporter of soybeans and corn.
Sales tax (VAT) rose 34.9 percent to 20.0 billion pesos, again mirroring private estimates of inflation, one of the highest rates in the world.
Argentina fell into default in late July for the second time in 12 years, and economists say the recession is likely to deepen with little hope for a swift resolution to the debt saga.
$1=8.4050 Argentine pesos as of August 29 Reporting by Alejandro Lifschitz; Writing by Richard Lough; Editing by Cynthia Osterman