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S&P confirms negative outlook for Italy

IANS 07 Jun 2014, 17:22:21 IST
Rome: Rating agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) has confirmed the BBB rating for Italy, saying the outlook remained negative while noting the “encouraging intentions” of the current government.

The US rating agency, which has cut Italy's creditworthiness three times since May 2011, Friday said in a statement the estimates for growth in the country remained “weak both in real and nominal terms”, reported Xinhua.

“The modest prospects for growth in Italy reflect the uncertain progress of the reforms carried out by its three previous governments,” the S&P said.

A huge public debt, which is at around 133 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), as well as tight credit conditions for companies, were also constraining the ratings on the country, the agency added.

Regarding the cabinet of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, which has outlined a plan of structural reforms to foster recovery, the agency highlighted the “important progress made on budget and structural reforms”.

However, despite the “encouraging intentions,” the S&P said it was “too soon to judge how much of the programmes can be implemented and over what time of period”.

Italy emerged from a dramatic recession at the end of last year but recent indicators have highlighted substantial stagnancy, with exports remaining a key supporting factor to the economic activity.