Markets

Fitch upgrades Spain's credit rating

LONDON (AP) — The Fitch ratings agency has upgraded Spain's credit grade, citing an improvement in the outlook of the country's finances and economy.

The agency lifted the country's sovereign rating Friday by one notch to BBB+ from BBB. In a report, Fitch said the "economic reforms of the labor market, pension system, fiscal framework and financial sector that have been enacted by the authorities since the start of the crisis have improved the longer-term outlook."

Spain was among the European countries hardest hit by the financial crisis. The property market's collapse in 2008 pushed the economy into recession and the government needed help from other eurozone countries to rescue its banks.

Spain's government said in a statement that it valued the new rating because it was recognition of the government's commitment to reform. "These reforms will solidify the economic recovery, which will help to contain the deficit and permit net job creation this year," the statement said.

Although unemployment is still near 26 percent, Spain's economy is out of recession and government borrowing rates have dropped.

Related Headlines

  • Spain: King abdicates for his more popular son

    Spain's King Juan Carlos, who led Spain's transition from dictatorship to democracy but faced damaging scandals amid the nation's financial meltdown, announced Monday he will ... 

  • Strikes in Greece as austerity deal proves elusive

    A 24-hour strike by civil servants disrupted public services in Greece on Wednesday as the government struggled to hammer out a deal on further austerity measures with ... 

  • Greece expects higher budget surpluses

    Greece will achieve better-than-expected budget figures in 2014 but unemployment will only decline slowly over the next four years, the country's finance ministry said ... 

  • Angry at austerity? Imagine you're a walrus

    Trouble at work? Think of Billy the Walrus, the story of a hapless arctic mammal too scared to give his flock's intimidating leader truthful advice. Or practice keeping your ...