Fitch maintains Brazil's credit rating below investment grade

The rating agency Fitch Ratings maintained on Tuesday the credit note of Brazil in "BB-", three degrees below the investment grade (the seal of the good payer).

The agency said that Brazil's rating note is limited by structural weaknesses in public finances and by high government debt, weak growth prospects, a difficult political environment and issues related to corruption. Image: Flickr
The agency said that Brazil's rating note is limited by structural weaknesses in public finances and by high government debt, weak growth prospects, a difficult political environment and issues related to corruption. Image: Flickr

The agency kept the outlook stable and indicated that the rating will not be altered soon while highlighting the need for Brazil to make reforms.

Brazil's rating note is limited by structural weaknesses in public finances and by high government indebtedness, weak growth prospects, a difficult political environment, and corruption-related issues, which weighed in the elaboration of effective policies and hindered the progress of the reforms.

The last reference of Fitch to the credit note of Brazil was in August 2018, when it also reaffirmed the "BB-" with a stable outlook.

Brazil lost the investment-grade three and a half years ago when the three major international agencies (Fitch, Moody's and S&P) withdrew the seal of a good payer to the country, which returned to the level of 2005.

Brazil won the investment grade of Fitch and S&P for the first time in 2008, while in 2009 it obtained the same Moody's badge.

"Fiscal challenges continue to weigh heavily on the credit profile and make Brazil vulnerable to shocks," added the note signed by the senior director of Fitch's Sovereign Group for Latin America, Shelly Shetty.

The agency stressed the importance of the government approving the reform of Social Security and pensions, considered key to clean up the Brazilian public accounts, but stressed that this will not be enough to achieve a solid economic recovery.

The approval of the Social Security reform is necessary, but it is not enough to significantly improve the short-term perspective for public finances and to meet the spending limit in the coming years.

Fitch also revised down the projection of Brazil's economic growth this year from 2.1% to 1.5%, and for next year from 2.7% to 2.5%.

The calculations are more optimistic than those of the financial market, which last Monday projected that the Gross Domestic Product of Brazil would grow 1.24% in this year.

By Agencies

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