World-renowned credit ratings agency Standard and Poor's (S&P) on Thursday announced its decision to upgrade Brazil's long-term foreign currency sovereign credit rating from BBB- to triple B, with a stable outlook.
The long-term local currency ratings were upgraded from BBB+ to A-, with a stable outlook as well while short-term ratings were A-3 (foreign currency) and A-2 (local currency).
S&P also raised its transfer and convertibility assessment on Brazil from BBB+ to A-, and maintained the 'brAAA' national scale rating.
The agency attributed the upgrades to President Dilma Rousseff's administration, which has "demonstrated its commitment to meeting fiscal targets, thereby enlarging the scope for using monetary tools to influence the domestic economy."
"The upgrade of Brazil is supported by the current administration's growing track record of prudent macroeconomic policies, including fairly consistent primary surpluses of close to three percent of GDP," said Standard and Poor's credit analyst Sebastian Briozzo.
S&P observed that, during this first year of the Rousseff administration, fiscal results were better than expected, allowing for a more flexible monetary policy. In addition, the government's response to inflationary pressures "sent an important signal about its policy flexibility and commitment to economic stability."
The agency also pointed out that though the Monetary Policy Committee decided in August to start cutting basic interest rate Selic, the government's fiscal policy was not loosened. S&P expects Brazil to continue to pursue "cautious fiscal and monetary policies" in order to mitigate the impact of external shocks.
Brazil's per capita real GDP is expected to rise by 2.1 percent in 2011 and 2.4 percent next year, and net government debt to fall gradually over the coming years.
"We expect the administration will sustain its commitment to fiscal prudence despite the challenges arising from an expected strong increase in the minimum wage in 2012, and public-investment needs. We expect that fiscal policy will remain supportive of a flexible monetary policy, giving the authorities greater room to employ limited countercyclical policies amid increasingly uncertain global conditions," said Briozzo.