Credit kept but used as warning
Moody’s has reaffirmed Australia’s AAA credit rating.
Moody’s Investor Services said in a statement on Wednesday that Australia’s “demonstrated economic resilience will endure in an uncertain global environment”.
The analysts praised the strength of the local institutional framework and Australia’s stronger “fiscal metrics” than its peers.
They note that less-than-stellar nominal GDP growth will keep dampening revenue, so “the government faces political hurdles to the implementation of fiscal tightening measures, as it rules with a very thin majority in the House of Representatives and a splintered Senate. The effectiveness of fiscal policy may be undermined somewhat.”
Moody’s assessment said there were two factors that may drive Australia’s rating down.
The first would be evidence that our economy’s resilience to negative shock drops, particularly “if it led to severe challenges to the government’s or the banks' financing from international investors”.
The second factor would be “indications that the hurdles to fiscal consolidation are higher than we currently expect”.
The Federal Government is using the Moody’s assessment to argue for the smooth passage of its omnibus bill – a combination of multiple savings totalling about A$6.5 billion.
Treasurer Scott Morrison said the analysis is a timely reminder of the need for economy strength.
“Our AAA credit rating helps to keep borrowing costs low for businesses and consumers across the economy, as well as ensuring Australia is in a much stronger position in the event of any external shocks,” ,” Morrison told a news conference.
“The challenge is to see that budget supported by the parliament. We are having very constructive discussions with new crossbench senators.
“As welcome as this result is today, and it is, we cannot take these things for granted.
“Our banking and financial system is one of the core pillars of our economy that underlie our prosperity into the future. You don’t go play politics with that. You don’t go messing around with the banking and financial system to make cheap political points,” he said.