JOHANNESBURG - Ratings agency Moody’s told South Africa’s National Treasury it was looking “very carefully” at the country’s fiscal stance and will release its view on Friday, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni told parliament.
Mboweni spoke a day after he gave a bleak mid-term budget statement, which forecast wider deficits and soaring debt. Moody’s is the last of the big three ratings agencies to have South Africa in investment grade.
“Moody’s said they will release their view tomorrow, and they were looking very carefully at our fiscal stance. At the most I hope they keep the rating where it is. ... It’s not looking good,” Mboweni said.
Ratings agencies are concerned about South Africa’s debt trajectory, economic growth and public sector wages, the director general of National Treasury, Dondo Mogajane, said on Thursday.
Mogajane added that he spoke to all three of the big ratings agencies about Wednesday’s bleak mid-term budget statement, which forecast wider deficits and soaring debt.
South Africa’s trade surplus widened to 5.16 billion rand ($341.2 million) in September from a revised 4.54 billion rand surplus in August, data from the revenue service showed on Thursday.
Exports were down 7.8% on a month-on-month basis to 110.43 billion rand while imports fell 8.6% to 105.27 billion, the South African Revenue Service said.