BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina's government will forecast 2017 economic growth of at least 3.5 percent and inflation of 17 percent or less in 2017 when it presents its first budget bill in mid September, Senate leader Federico Pinedo told Reuters on Wednesday.

Latin America's third-largest economy will likely contract 1 percent in 2016, the government has said previously.

(Reporting by Nicolas Misculin; Writing by Caroline Stauffer; Editing by David Gregorio)