France has been stripped of its last triple-A credit rating by the agency Fitch. The country’s uncertain debt outlook, lack of growth and the ongoing eurozone crisis have taken its rating down a notch to AA+.
It comes a year after credit rating giants, Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s downgraded France from its prized triple-A status.
Fitch forecasts that the French economy will contract by 0.3 per cent in 2013 before recovering slightly in 2014.
Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici downplayed the downgrade saying that “French debt is among the safest and most liquid in the eurozone”, saying that the government strategy was right.
Some analysts beg to differ. As the second-largest eurozone economy France is still feeling the effects of the crisis. Experts say the belated downgrade is a wake-up call for politicians to speed up fiscal and structural reforms.