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S&P keeps French debt rating at AA with negative outlook

AFP
AFP - [email protected]
S&P keeps French debt rating at AA with negative outlook
French Minister for the Economy and Finances Bruno Le Maire speaks during a press conference in Paris in September. Photo: Mehdi FEDOUACH/AFP.

Influential credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's said Friday it was maintaining its AA rating on French government debt, though the outlook remains negative.

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"The affirmation of our ratings is in part underpinned by our expectation that government debt as a share of GDP will decline from 2025, albeit very gradually," it said in a statement.

"The negative outlook reflects our view of uncertainty relating to our forecast of France's public finances amid its high, albeit slowly declining, budget deficits and elevated general government debt."

S&P said it maintained its negative outlook because "there are still material risks to our budgetary forecasts that could, if they happen, further reduce France's fiscal flexibility."

These include "potentially weaker economic performance, resulting for example from tighter funding conditions and continued uncertainty in global and European economies, or increased political fragmentation that could complicate policy implementation".

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French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said in a statement that S&P's "decision is coherent with choices the government has made about its public finances".

"More than ever we remain committed to reduce public spending and accelerate reductions in our debt," he added, saying France's "independence and national and European commitments" depended on it.

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