UPDATE 1-Argentina economy posts strong growth in second quarter

(Adds poll, context, sector breakdown)

BUENOS AIRES, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Argentina’s gross domestic product grew 2.7 percent in the second quarter versus the same period last year and expanded by 0.7 percent versus the first three months of 2017, the government’s Indec statistics agency said on Thursday.

Economic growth was in line with median expectations from 12 analysts polled by Reuters, and is good news for President Mauricio Macri’s “Let’s Change” coalition ahead of mid-term congressional elections next month.

Argentina’s economy exited a prolonged recession in the second half of last year. But the recovery, hampered by inflation expected by private analysts at about 22 percent this year, has been sluggish.

The manufacturing sector posted positive growth in the second quarter, up 2.5 percent, for the first time since Macri’s government started publishing revamped GDP statistics in the second quarter of 2016. Construction helped lead growth, rising 9.7 percent.

The Argentine economy has grown 1.6 percent in the first half of the year from a year earlier, and the government expects it to end the year growing around 3 percent. The 2018 budget forecasts growth of 3.5 percent.

Indec also revised first quarter GDP growth to 0.4 percent from a year earlier, compared to 0.3 percent first reported. (Reporting by Hugh Bronstein, Hernan Nessi and Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Alistair Bell)