S&P takes Hungary out of 'junk status' on growth improvement

Economic IndicatorsAssociated Press

Rating agency Standard & Poor's says it has lifted Hungary's sovereign debt rating out of "junk status" after upgrading the country's growth projections.

S&P raised Hungary's rating by one notch to BBB- from BB+ as it increased the country's average annual growth forecast through 2019 to 2.5 percent from 2 percent.

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Friday's upgrade, which could make it cheaper for Hungary to borrow money in international markets, comes after a similar move in May by Fitch. Moody's, the third of the major rating agencies, still has Hungarian debt in the non-investment category.

S&P said key measures of Hungary's economy "have improved markedly" since 2008 when Hungary sought financial help from its partners in the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

S&P said the outlook for Hungary's rating remains "stable."