Investment - Articles - Advanced economies can weather the Coronavirus


DBRS Morningstar have released a commentary titled Advanced Economies Can Weather the Coronavirus – For A Season. The commentary explains our view that most advanced economy sovereigns have adequate fiscal space to implement temporary measures to mitigate the adverse impact of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).

 The response to Coronavirus puts sovereigns in a difficult dilemma. Support measures will have a cost and government financial balances look set to deteriorate across global sovereigns. Thus far, however, the measures appear sufficiently targeted and temporary to avoid any adverse rating implications for most advanced economies.

 “Compared to the years preceding the last global downturn, economic fundamentals are stronger across most of the major economies,” notes Thomas R. Torgerson, Managing Director and Co-Head of Sovereign Ratings at DBRS Morningstar. “There is still tremendous uncertainty around the timing of a recovery, but we expect the costs of fiscal support to remain manageable for most advanced economies.”

 The commentary reviews the credit fundamentals of several of the larger advanced economies at three points in time: prior to the global financial crisis, their peak highs/lows during the global financial crisis, and their position as of end-2019. Public sector balance sheets are not fully repaired, but other credit fundamentals are stronger. Debt/GDP ratios are materially higher for most sovereigns, but the cost of carrying these higher debt burdens has generally fallen. Most economies have fully recovered from the financial crisis, with some generally less-indebted sovereigns showing stronger economic performance.

 Advanced Economies Can Weather the Coronavirus – For A Season

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