Business Irish

Monday 22 September 2014

Standard & Poor’s upgrades Ireland's credit rating to A-

The credit rating agency said it had revised its 2014-2016 average GDP growth rate to 2.7pc from 2pc

Published 06/06/2014 | 17:15

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Credit rating agency Standard & Poor's in New York
Credit rating agency Standard & Poor's in New York

Standard & Poor’s has upgraded Ireland’s credit rating and predicted the economy will grow faster than it expected on average over the next two years.

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The credit rating agency said it was raising its long-term sovereign credit rating to A- from BBB+.

It comes just weeks after Moody’s lifted the country’s rating by two notches in a better than expected assessment.

S&P said it had revised its 2014-2016 average GDP growth rate to 2.7pc from 2pc.

It said this reflected its expectation of a continued strong external performance and a sustained recovery in the domestic economy.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan said the upgrade highlighted the continued improvement in Ireland’s credit worthiness.

“I am particularly pleased that this upgrade is being driven by S&P’s view on the improved prospects for the domestic economy,” Mr Noonan said.

“This is a view I share and with thousands of jobs being created each month, strong exchequer performance and with positive high-frequency indicators, I am confident that we are moving in the right direction.”

The state’s debt management agency, the National Treasuruy Management Agency (NTMA) said it was the first A rating of any of the major credit rating agencies since it returned to the international money markets on a full-time basis.

“It represents a further confirmation of the continuing positive assessment of Ireland by the major credit rating agencies.,” NTMA chief executive John Corrigan said.

“It also underpins the already strong investor sentiment towards Ireland and provides a very supportive backdrop for the remainder of the NTMA’s funding programme in 2014.

“It is gratifying to note that the bond market access achieved by Ireland and the progress made by NAMA are among the positive factors cited by S&P.”

S&P said it believes the domestic recovery is broadening and has gathered pace in the first three months of the year.

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