Finland's Rating Outlook Revised to Negative From Stable by S&P

Finland’s credit rating outlook was revised to negative from stable by Standard & Poor’s as the Nordic nation struggles to revive economic growth.

The country is rated AA+, the second-highest investment grade, by S&P.

“The outlook revision reflects our view of a significant risk that Finland will experience a protracted period of below-average growth compared with other countries at a similar stage of economic development, despite the government’s commitment to structural reforms,” S&P said in a statement.

With the economy having contracted for three consecutive years, and virtually no growth expected in 2015, Finance Minister Alexander Stubb has called his country the “sick man” of Europe. In an effort to restore competitiveness, he and Prime Minister Juha Sipila are trying to persuade Finns to work more without demanding bigger paychecks.

While a European laggard in terms of economic growth, the Nordic country is nevertheless one of only five euro-zone countries that continue to enjoy the top rating from Moody’s.

The decision by S&P came a week after Fitch left Finland’s ratings unchanged at AAA with a negative outlook.

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