Moody's upgrades outlook for Italy's govt bonds

(AP) - Moody's Investors Service on Friday raised the outlook on Italy's government bond rating to stable from negative, citing improved financial strength in the European country.

It reaffirmed Italy's bond rating at Baa2, its second-lowest investment grade, and its Prime-2 debt ratings, which is considered a moderate credit risk.

The rating agency said that it expects the government's debt-to-gross domestic product ratio to level off in 2014 as economic growth modestly resumes. It pointed to Italy's strong government bond market, which is one of the largest in Europe, as an indicator of strength.

Moody's also said that that the government's balance sheet is looking less risky, citing lower risks tied to its banking sector as the capitalization in that sector has stabilized.

The rating agency said that the recent resignation of Prime Minister Enrico Letta and the expectation that Matteo Renzi, leader of Letta's Democratic Party, will head a newly formed government does not alter its expectations. Letta, Italy's premier, announced his resignation after losing key party support.

A report from the Eurostat statistics office said Friday that Europe's economy is growing faster, rising 0.3 percent in the October-December period from the previous quarter. That was slightly more than expected and up from the third quarter's 0.1 percent.

The report said that growth was unexpectedly strong in the bloc's major economies like Germany, France and Italy _ which saw its first growth since 2011. However, Europe's recovery remains tepid by global standards.


(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Top Stories

  • Quick and Profitable
    Ron and Don say it's time to cut off Seattle's presidential ATM

  • Concert Congestion
    Concertgoers are crying foul after missing the Journey-Steve Miller show for a traffic jam

  • Seeking a Sequel
    Danny O'Neil has 3 things things to watch for as the Seahawks start training camp
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from MyNorthwest.com
In the community
Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.