LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Ratings agency Standard & Poor's has revised its outlook on Portugal to stable from negative after concluding the bailed-out country will continue to receive international support for its financial recovery efforts.
Low growth and mounting debts pushed Portugal close to bankruptcy before its €78 billion ($101 billion) bailout in May 2011. Standard & Poor's said Thursday that Portugal's prospects had improved after its European Union partners said they would look kindly on Lisbon's request for an extension on its loan repayments.
The agency also said it expected Portugal's lenders to soften the country's austerity program amid what is forecast to be a third straight year of recession. It said those steps make Portugal's recovery more sustainable and reduce the risk of non-compliance with the terms of the bailout.