UPDATE 1-Fitch revises Spain's outlook to stable from negative

Fri Nov 1, 2013 12:59pm EDT

NEW YORK Nov 1 (Reuters) - Fitch Ratings on Friday revised Spain's outlook to stable from negative and affirmed the country's BBB rating citing its improved track record.

"The authorities have made significant reforms of the labor market, pension system, fiscal framework and financial sector," Fitch said in a statement.

"The pace of reform is likely to slow in 2014-15 as external pressures ease and 2015 elections loom, but the effort made to date should put the economy on a surer footing," the statement added.

Spain just pulled clear of recession in the third quarter and inflation eased in October, data showed this week, laying the foundations for a gradual recovery in consumer spending though the country's economic crisis looks far from over.

Gross domestic product (GDP) inched 0.1 percent higher between July and September, state statistics agency INE said, notching up the first quarter-on-quarter growth since the beginning of 2011 and officially ending a two-year slump.

Moody's Investors Service rates the country Baa3 with a negative outlook. Standard & Poor's rates Spain at BBB-minus, also with a negative outlook.

The ratings from all three agencies are investment grade, albeit not by much.

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