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Financial News: LATIN AMERICA: Growth, Debt And Politics Influence Soverei

LATIN AMERICA: Growth, Debt And Politics Influence Sovereign Ratings- Fitch

07/12/2017 - 20:08:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Fitch Ratings reported that Latin American sovereigns had more negative than positive ratings in the first half of 2017, which underscores the persistent challenges imposed by weak economic growth, adverse debt dynamics and, in some cases, the local political scene.

Five sovereigns (Suriname, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, and Mexico) have a negative rating outlook, according to Fitch, reflecting that the balance of risks is toward more adverse rating decisions, although macroeconomic imbalances are beginning to fade, supporting current ratings.

The only Fitch's positive rating action for a Latin America country in the first half of 2017 was Colombia's outlook revision to stable, from negative, following the tax reform and decreases in the current account deficit and inflation.

Sovereign credit pressures in the region stem from the challenging macroeconomic context, difficulties in achieving fiscal consolidation, and sometimes polarized or volatile local political scene. These factors will have significant developments in the second half of 2017 and 2018, as countries submit their budgets for the next year and multiple electoral processes take place.

Fitch forecasts regional GDP to grow moderately to 1.1% in 2017 and 2.5% in 2018, after a two-year decline. Risks linked to these projections include stronger protectionism and stricter immigration controls in the US, slower-than-expected growth in China, weaker commodity prices, and tighter funding conditions.

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