Moody’s Downgrades Japan on Debt Risk

Moody’s has cut Japan’s credit rating by one notch over rising doubts about its ability to reduce debt levels.

The decision by the ratings agency sent the yen to a seven-year low against the US dollar.

The downgrade comes less than a two weeks before a snap general election called by prime minister Shinzo Abe.

His economic stimulus policies and a decision to delay a second sales tax rise will be among the key campaign issues.

Tom Byrne, regional credit officer of Moody’s, said the downgrade was closely linked to Mr Abe’s decision to delay a sales tax rise due to be implemented in 2015. The move would make it more difficult for Japan to cut its budget deficit by 2020.

Moody’s also warned that efforts by the Bank of Japan to achieve its 2% inflation target through aggressive money printing, or quantitative easing, could make it more expensive for the government to borrow.

Japan’s rating has been reduced by one notch to A1 from Aa3 after the economy sank into recession during the third quarter.

The A1 rating is one level lower than China and South Korea, and four lower than the US and Germany, which both have the top Aaa rating.

via BBC

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza