Fitch Warns It Could Cut Japan's A+ Credit Rating

Fitch Ratings on Tuesday said it would likely decide in the first half of 2015 whether to cut Japan's A+ credit rating following the government's decision to delay a consumption tax increase that was originally scheduled to take effect in October 2015. The firm said it had placed Japan's long-term foreign and local currency issuer default ratings on Rating Watch Negative. The delayed tax rise "implies it will be almost impossible to achieve the government's previously-stated objective of reducing the primary budget deficit to 3.3% of [gross domestic product] by the fiscal year April 2015-March 2016," the firm said. The delayed tax rise led ratings firm Moody's Investors Service last week to downgrade Japan's government debt rating to A1 from Aa3.

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