Economists divided on SA’s possible downgrade

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Economists are divided on whether South Africa will be downgraded further on Friday.

While some say ratings agencies may wait until after the ANC’s December elective conference, others say the odds are against South Africa on many levels.

Ratings agency Fitch kept South Africa’s local and foreign currency credit ratings unchanged on Thursday, one notch below investment grade, with a stable outlook.

Experts say the weak economic growth environment, deteriorating fiscal position and political uncertainty could see South Africa downgraded.

“As far as Moody’s and S&P are concerned my view is they will probably downgrade us. If you asked me before the MTBP, I would have said that they will wait until the ANC elective conference. I think the shock factor of the mini-budget will result in a downgrade,” says independent analyst, Chris Gilmour.