Moody's downgrades Bahamas credit rating to Baa1

NEW YORK Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:30pm EST

NEW YORK Dec 14 (Reuters) - Moody's Investors Service on Friday downgraded its sovereign credit rating for the Bahamas by one notch to Baa1, leaving the Caribbean nation in the lower end of investment grade, citing limited economic growth prospects.

The credit outlook remains negative, Moody's said in a statement.

"The economy contracted at an average rate of 0.8 percent annually between 2007 and 2011 and Moody's expect the post-crisis recovery to remain fragile," the firm said.

"Tourism, offshore financial services, and construction sectors - the main drivers of economic activity - continue to face downside risks, exacerbated by an uncertain recovery in the US, the Bahamas' main tourism market," Moody's said.

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