Standard & Poor’s recently upgraded Spain’s economic outlook from negative to stable and re-affirmed the country’s BBB- long-term sovereign credit rating.
Spain’s banks experienced severe stress during the financial crisis, and the country has struggled to improve its finances. The Spanish economy grew 0.1 percent between July and September, following growth declines for the previous nine quarters, BBC reports.
The Spanish government has attempted to spur economic growth in an effort to curb the country’s public debt—$1.3 trillion, or more than 92 percent of the nation’s entire GDP. Austerity measures, however, have led to rioting, and unemployment is at 27 percent.
Spanish banks, which received $55.8 billion in bailout funding from the European Union, have gradually cut borrowings from the region’s central bank over the past year, according to BBC.
S&P did, however, cut its credit rating for the Netherlands from AAA to AA+, citing the country’s worsening growth prospects. Germany, Luxembourg and Finland are the only eurozone countries who have maintained their AAA credit rating. Moody’s and Fitch have maintained their AAA rating for the Netherlands.
The downgrade in the Netherlands’ credit rating followed concerns voiced by Deutsche Bank in August that the Dutch economy threatened the overall regional recovery. The European Commission estimates that unemployment will reach eight percent next year, CNBC reports.