Australia’s triple-A credit rating is at risk, but what does that mean?

Australia is at risk of losing its triple A credit rating as a result of the $200 billion of stimulus spending announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison. International ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Global looks askance at Australia’s $669 billion in debt, saying it expects “the government debt burden to weaken materially” because of the coronavirus. “We have revised our outlook on Australia to negative from stable to reflect a substantial deterioration of its fiscal headroom at the ‘AAA’ rating level,” S&P wrote. Don’t worry if your eyes glazed over while reading that. Chances are, it will have little impact on the Australian economy. That’s because AAA is the bluest of blue-chip ratings and Australia’s has yet to be lowered; S&P has just said it will keep an eye out for future problems.

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