S&P upgrades Greek economy outlook to ‘positive’ from ‘stable’

S&P credit rating agency upgraded Greece’s outlook to ‘positive’ from ‘stable’ on Friday, retaining the investment-grade rating of BBB-.

The positive outlook reflects S&P’s expectation that the strict fiscal regime will continue to keep reducing the public debt, while growth is expected to continue to exceed the eurozone average.

The rating agency’s main points were that the Greek government is implementing a wide range of infrastructural reforms and faces long-term restrictions; that the economy’s growth has already exceeded the average Eurozone rate and is expected to keep doing so; and that Greece’s previously very high net public-debt-to-GDP ratio is dropping and is expected to continue doing so.

“The further upgrade of the Greek economy by Standards & Poor’s within a few months is yet another indication that Greece’s efforts are bearing fruit,” National Economy & Economics Minister Kostis Hatzidakis said, following the rating agency’s announcement.

“It is, however, also a response to those constantly whining and trying to downplay the positive developments of the last five years – the unprecedented increase of exports, the fact that in the last few years Greece has achieved a record number of direct foreign investments, the great drop in unemployment by seven percentage points, and that we recently have had a five-fold rate of growth compared to the eurozone average,” the minister added.

Hatzidakis said that the recognition of this significant progress by all international organizations and credit rating agencies “will not make us complacent. On the contrary, it gives us the strength to continue the effort and to promote all necessary reforms that will lead Greece’s economy ever higher. We pass over small-minded criticism and forge ahead with speed and decisively.”