BBB+ Affirmed for The Philippines
Japan-based Rating and Investment Information, Inc. (R&I) has kept its BBB+ credit rating with a stable outlook for the Philippines, citing the country’s robust post-pandemic growth prospects.
BBB= Creditworthiness is sufficient, though some factors require attention in times of major environmental changes.
In a statement on Friday, the debt watcher cited Philippine potential to bounce back from last year’s 9.6% drop in economic output as investments come in, and fiscal and monetary policies remain accommodative.
“The Philippines’ economy suffered a severe contraction due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 but is expected to recover primarily through aggressive public investment, which had driven the economy in the past several years,” it said. “Fiscal and monetary policies will boost growth for some time.”
The rating was a “vote of confidence” in the country’s ability to bounce back from the COVID-19 crisis, central bank Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said in a separate statement.
“With the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, the tail end of the crisis is proving to be extra challenging,” he said. “Nevertheless, we do not see a permanent dent on our macroeconomic fundamentals, and we can head back to our growth path post-COVID.”
The rating company first upgraded its rating for the country in February 2020 from BBB. A BBB+ rating is a notch away from the minimum score A rating that the government is aiming for. A stable outlook means the rating is unlikely to be changed in the near term.