| 20 July 2024, Saturday |

Moody’s analyst sees polarization around US budget issues persisting next year

Political divisiveness in the US would probably make budgetary decisions more difficult before the 2024 presidential election, according to a leading Moody’s analyst. This might postpone any shift in the rating agency’s view from a stable outlook to one of government stability.

On Friday, Moody’s revised its assessment of the U.S. credit outlook from stable to negative, citing growing fiscal deficits and a drop in debt affordability.

“Any type of significant policy response that we might be able to see to this declining fiscal strength probably wouldn’t happen until 2025 because of the reality of the political calendar next year,” William Foster, a senior vice president at Moody’s, told Reuters.

Moody’s typically “resolves” an outlook, meaning in case of a negative outlook it either brings it back to stable or goes ahead with a rating downgrade, within 18 to 24 months, he said. But the process may take longer and will depend on fiscal policy measures that will be taken.

Moody’s lower outlook comes after a bond selloff that has pushed long-term Treasury debt yields to levels not seen since 2007 in recent weeks.

An environment of higher interest rates will likely result in higher interest payments and higher deficits, said Foster.

“And so, the question from our perspective moving forward is to what extent the government will be able to address that through fiscal policy measures that will reduce deficits moving forward, either through higher revenues, or reducing primary spending,” he said.

  • Reuters