Rating agency Moody’s, which downgraded seven sub-Saharan African countries last year, expects pressures that led to the downgrades to go on this year. Moody’s has a negative outlook for sub-Saharan Africa as a region, citing liquidity stress, low economic growth rates and political risk. The region’s economies "will continue to face commodity-induced liquidity stress in 2017, with recurring fiscal deficits amid challenging financing conditions", says Moody's vice-president Lucie Villa. Villa is also a senior analyst and co-author of the agency’s latest report on the region. "These will remain important credit constraints and underpin our negative outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa sovereigns overall," she said. Moody’s issues ratings on 19 countries in the region, and last year downgraded seven by two notches on average. Five still carry negative outlooks, meaning they could be downgraded again. The three major agencies — Moody’s, Fitch and S&P Global Ratings — gave SA a reprieve at th...

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