News Summary: Fake Argentina GDP may cost billions
(AP) - FALSE DATA: Argentina's Congress, which is controlled by President Cristina Fernandez, passed a budget that inflates economic growth numbers and puts the country on track to unnecessarily pay billions of dollars in bonus payments to bondholders, opposition lawmakers say.
ROSY VIEW: The budget anticipates growth of 5.1 percent for 2013, even though various analysts say the economy is growing less than 3 percent. It also assumes 6.2 percent growth and inflation of just 10 percent in 2014. Outside economists call these estimates wildly optimistic.
SERIOUS MONEY: If the government reports growth of 3.2 percent or more for 2013, it will trigger billions of dollars in bonus payments to bondholders in 2014. The sweeteners were promised years ago to investors who had to write off two-thirds of Argentina's defaulted debt in exchange for new bonds.
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