UPDATE 1-Argentina primary budget surplus shrinks in October

lunes 21 de noviembre de 2011 21:36 ART

* October's primary surplus shrinks by 85 percent

* Fiscal deficit jumps to 2.98 billion pesos

(Adds details, context)

BUENOS AIRES, Nov 21 (Reuters) - Argentina's primary budget surplus ARPBS=ECI shrank 85 percent to 446 million pesos ($104.7 million) in October from 3.1 billion pesos a year earlier, the government said on Monday.

The primary budget balance shows government savings before debts are paid. It is an important indicator of fiscal health in Argentina, which has been virtually shut out of global credit markets since a 2002 default.

After debt repayments, October's data showed a fiscal deficit of 2.98 billion pesos compared with a deficit of 80.6 million pesos in the same month a year earlier. ($1 = 4.26 Argentine pesos ARS=RASL) (Reporting by Helen Popper and Maximilian Heath; Editing by Gary Hill) (helen.popper@thomsonreuters.com; +54 11 4318 0655; Reuters Messaging: helen.popper.reuters.com@reuters.net))