16th May 2020, Skopje – Fitch and Standard&Poor’s Credit Rating Agencies affirmed once again the credit ratings of the Republic of North Macedonia. Fitch have affirmed the country’s rating at BB+, however with negative outlook due to the global pandemic, while S&P have affirmed North Macedonia BB- ratings with stable outlook.
As a result of the COVID-19 crisis and the projections for global economy slowdown, both credit rating agencies forecast the economy to contract in 2020 with recovery, i.e. growth, in 2021, whereby Fitch forecast the economy to contract by 4.2% for 2020 with GDP growth of 5.1% in 2021, and S&P project GDP contraction by 5% with a recovery of 3.8% in 2021.
The credit rating agencies noted the measures undertaken by the Government aimed at protecting jobs, supporting the most affected sectors, as well as the soft regulatory measures. As stated in both reports, the measure will contribute to widening the budget deficit and rising of general government debt which, according to the forecasts of both agencies, will be close to 50% of GDP. As the economy recovers, the budget deficit is projected to reduce and stabilize.
According to both credit rating agencies, the banking sector is stable, as well as the pegged denar-euro exchange rate.
Fitch and Standard&Poor’s have positively assessed the green light from the European Union to start the accession negotiations which, coupled with the reform implementation, can significantly boost the economic development.