S&P confirms top AAA rating for Britain

April 14, 2012

Standard & Poor's rating agency on Friday confirmed its top AAA long-term credit rating for Britain and maintained a stable outlook for the country that is not a member of the eurozone.

"Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its 'AAA' long-term and 'A-1+' short-term unsolicited sovereign credit ratings on the United Kingdom. The outlook remains stable," it said in a statement.

It said that the ratings reflect Britain's "wealthy and diversified economy, fiscal and monetary policy flexibility, and adaptable product and labour markets."

S&P added that it believes "the UK government maintains a strong commitment to implementing its fiscal mandate, and has the ability and willingness to respond rapidly to economic challenges."

Britain's finance minister welcomed the confirmation of its top rating, which is important to attract placements from pension and investment funds and affects a nation's borrowing costs.

"This is a reminder that Britain is weathering the international debt storms because of the policies we have adopted and stuck to in tough times," said Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne.

"The budget showed we are ready to go on making the difficult decisions that are keeping our country safe," he added.

Last month Osborne presented a budget which cuts taxes on businesses and top earners in a bid to spur growth and virtually wipe out its budget deficit by 2017.

The other two top ratings agencies, Moody's and Fitch, put Britain on watch for a possible ratings downgrade earlier this year warning that given its high debt it would have difficulty weathering any further shocks, particularly from its main trading partner the eurozone.

AFP

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