Bahamas credit outlook improves in latest international report
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance K. Peter Turnquest noted that he is encouraged by the February 2019 credit opinion published by Moody’s, which reclassified The Bahamas’ outlook from ‘Negative’ to ‘Stable’. He indicated that the evaluation represents an “independent and impartial assessment of the country’s progress on what had been a dire and untenable fiscal situation”.
“The recent results are encouraging as they underscore that the strategies employed by this government to stabilize the fiscal situation and strengthen the economic fundamentals are bearing out. After four consecutive downgrades and a persistent ‘Negative’ outlook by the rating agency, we are clearly in a much stronger position now. It will continue to take some time for us to get to where we optimally should be, but as a country, we are headed in the right direction,” said Minister Turnquest.
“As we note the milestone, we must continue to build on this progress and walk the steady road back to achieving a higher investment rating classification – which will take some time. Our ultimate success will be determined by our ability to continue boosting economic growth and maintaining fiscal discipline,” he said.
Notably, Moody’s had words of commendation around the Government’s legislative reforms that have brought about more transparency and fiscal policy credibility and effectiveness. In particular, the report pointed to the introduction of the Fiscal Responsibility Act which sets fiscal rules that foster fiscal discipline through the establishment and publication of deficit targets and debt limits. The report also gave the government high marks for the introduction of quarterly budget performance reporting and the impact such reporting would have on the prospect for more open and accountable governance.