UPDATE 1-Argentina says June inflation slows to 1.3 pct

Tue Jul 15, 2014 3:39pm EDT

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(Adds year-to-date figure, context)

BUENOS AIRES, July 15 (Reuters) - Official Argentina data released on Tuesday showed inflation slowed for a fifth consecutive month in June, but still stood at 15 percent since the start of the year, one of the highest rates in the world.

Consumer prices in Latin America's No. 3 economy rose 1.3 percent in June, slightly below a 1.4 percent climb in May, official data showed.

A Reuters poll of 10 analysts showed a median forecast of 1.8 percent with expectations ranging from 0.8 percent to 2.3 percent. The broad spread underlined the paucity of available information.

A currency devaluation in January stoked inflation as Argentine businesses and merchants raised prices to adjust to the new exchange rate.

Private economists say Argentina's inflation rate may exceed 30 percent in 2014, compared with about 25 percent last year.

Argentina revamped its consumer price index this year in an effort to win back the trust of investors after years of blatantly under-reporting inflation.

Analysts have accused Argentina's government of manipulating official inflation figures since 2007 for political gain as well as to reduce payments on the country's inflation-indexed debt. (Writing by Richard Lough; editing by G Crosse, Meredith Mazzilli)

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