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Debt watcher affirms PH's 'A-' credit rating

The Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCR) has affirmed the Philippines' 'A-' investment-grade credit rating amid a global slowdown and high inflation, the Finance department said on Friday.

"A credit rating of A- with a stable outlook indicates lower credit risk and entails better access to the international bond market and favorable interest rates," it said in a statement.

"Moreover, it increases investor confidence in the country that may lead to more foreign direct investments," the department added. Among others, JCR was said to have cited the resiliency of the Philippine banking system, which remains "healthy on stronger payment capacity and improving employment situation."

The Finance department noted that the national government's outstanding debt had settled at 60.9 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) last year, lower than the 61.8-percent target set in the Medium-Term Fiscal Framework (MTFF).

It added that based on the Bureau of the Treasury's latest cash operations report, the budget deficit had narrowed to 7.3 percent of GDP from the 8.6 percent in 2021. It was also better than the MTFF target for 2022 of 7.6 percent.

"The Marcos administration is committed to maintaining sound macroeconomic fundamentals and achieving its fiscal targets by continuing the course of sound fiscal management," Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said.

"The country's recent structural reforms will also enable the country to withstand the pandemic shocks and map a route to recovery," he added.

Source: Manila Times

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