Friday, January 27, 2012

Fitch downgrades five EU economies

Source: Press TV

Fitch rating agency has downgraded the debt ratings of five eurozone states including Spain and Italy, pointing to the growing vulnerability of their economies.

On Friday, Fitch downgraded the economies of Italy, Spain, Belgium, Slovenia and Cyprus, while cutting its outlook on Ireland.

According to the agency, “near-term economic outlook highlight(s) the greater vulnerability to monetary as well as financing shocks faced by these sovereign governments."

Fitch cited that Italy faced “too-low” growth in comparison with its debt, while Spain faces "a significantly worsened fiscal and economic outlook." Italy, Spain, and Slovenia were cut by two notches.

Earlier, the European Central Bank released eurozone data suggesting that loans to the private sector fell by 1.0 percent in December in comparison with the 1.7 percent in the previous month.

Meanwhile, Spain's unemployment rate has soared to 22.85 percent-- the highest in 17 years as more than half of the country's youths remain without jobs.

There are fears that more delays in resolving the eurozone debt crisis, which began in Greece in late 2009 and infected Italy, Spain and France last year, could push not only Europe but also much of the rest of the developed world back into recession.

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