SYDNEY May 12 Australia's strong fiscal
position underpins its triple-A rating and stable outlook,
although the government may have underestimated future deficits
in its budget projections, credit rating agency Moody's said on
Australia's conservative government pledged on Tuesday to
return to surplus in four years to end more than a decade of
deficits that have threatened its top-notch ratings.
But Moody's is not so sure about the time frame.
"Moody's expects that revenues will not rise as fast as the
government projects, and that expenditure spending will remain
higher than budgeted," it said in a statement.
"The government projects a rise in revenues as a share of
GDP; a trend that has not materialized in the last three years,"
the ratings agency said, adding it was expecting steady revenues
Australia is among 10 countries still rated triple-A by all
three major agencies, but slower economic growth in recent years
and stubborn fiscal deficits have jeopardised its top ranking.
Moody's and Fitch ratings said the 2017/18 budget had no
major impact on the country's triple-A ratings with stable
outlook, while S&P Global Ratings has yet to comment.
S&P put the Australian sovereign on negative watch last
July, citing weakened prospects for improvement in budgetary
(Reporting by Cecile Lefort; Editing by Eric Meijer)