June 21, 2017 / 7:58 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Argentina economy grows in first quarter -Indec

(Adds poll, sector growth, background)

BUENOS AIRES, June 21 (Reuters) - Argentina’s economy grew 0.3 percent in the first quarter of 2017 from a year earlier and 1.1 percent from the fourth quarter of 2016, the government’s Indec statistics agency said on Wednesday.

Gross domestic product slightly exceeded expectations of the median estimate of 10 analysts polled by Reuters of 0.2 percent growth from the same period in 2016.

Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri is counting on a rebounding economy to attract investment and make sure voters express satisfaction with his free-market reforms in October’s midterm congressional elections.

Indec revised growth data for the fourth quarter of 2016, when Argentina emerged from recession, to 0.7 percent from the third quarter rather than 0.5 percent. It also revised the fourth-quarter 2016 contraction versus the same period in 2015 to 1.9 percent from 2.1 percent previously.

Wednesday’s data provided good news for the government even as markets tumbled after stock index provider MSCI surprised investors by not adding Argentina to its emerging markets index, saying it wanted to make sure the pro-market reforms were irreversible.

Agriculture and fishing led economic growth, up 4.3 percent and 31.1 percent respectively. Mining and manufacturing slumped while construction grew 1.9 percent as Macri increased public spending for infrastructure. (Reporting by Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Meredith Mazzilli)

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