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Fitch revises Finland's outlook to positive, affirms AA+ credit rating

Fitch Ratings has raised its appraisal of Finland's economic outlook, citing lower public debt in relation to GDP and robust economic growth.

Fitch Ratingsin toimisto New Yorkissa.
The Fitch Ratings headquarters in New York Image: Justin Lane / EPA

One of the world's big three credit ratings agencies, Fitch, has upgraded its outlook on Finland's long-term default rating from stable to positive amid signs of economic recovery.

It also affirmed Finland's earlier credit status of AA+. Fitch lowered Finland's credit rating from the best possible level of AAA to AA+, the second best rating, in 2016.

Fitch justified changing its long-term default rating from stable to positive by referring to a steady decrease in Finland's level of public debt. The agency forecasts that the ratio of gross general government debt (GGGD) to gross domestic product (GDP) will fall to 59.6 percent yet this year, and to 53.4 percent by the year 2027.

Although this ratio is still higher than historical AA and AAA medians, "the continuing downward trajectory represents a material improvement compared with expectations", Fitch says in its ratings' report.

The credit ratings agency also states that Finland's medium-term growth prospects have improved.

"Real GDP growth picked up to 2.5 percent and 2.8 percent in 2016 and 2017, driven by private consumption and investments, but also benefiting from favourable external demand via strong growth in the euro area and the economic recovery in Russia," the report reads.

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