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Standard & Poor’s provided Argentine president Mauricio Macri a much-needed fillip on Tuesday after the rating agency raised the country’s long-term credit rating by a notch from ‘B-’ to ‘B’.
While the upgrade still leaves Argentina’s credit rating firmly in junk territory, it nonetheless represents a vote of confidence in the reforms that Mr Macri has undertaken since taking over from the previous government, which left behind an economy on the brink of collapse.
“Argentina is making progress in resolving several macroeconomic imbalances in the country while gradually rebuilding the country’s credibility and improving the overall weakened institutional framework,” said analysts at S&P, which maintains a stable outlook on the country’s debt profile.
The upgrade from S&P is the latest from the big three rating agencies. Moody’s raised its view on the country to B3 from Caa1 last April, while Fitch upgraded its rating for Argentina to ‘B’ from ‘restricted default’ last June.
After contracting around 2.3 per cent in 2016, Argentina’s economy is expected by S&P to grow by 3 per cent on average over the next three years. It said:
The government has made progress in improving external liquidity and access to commercial funding and was able to issue external bonds for about $22 billion in 2016 and $7.4 billion so far in 2017. Initial steps to resolve the country’s large economic imbalances and microeconomic distortions, such as lowering inflation to an expected 20% and 15% in 2017 and 2018, respectively, and adjusting public services tariff to underlying cost, are helping to slowly restore economic stability.