July 10 - Given the continued slow economic recovery, the credit quality of U.S. consumer products companies will be pressured if higher energy, food, and clothing prices force consumers to reduce spending and raw material costs increase further, despite having recently abated somewhat. But according to a Standard & Poor's Ratings Services report published today, most consumer products issuers remain ready for this ongoing challenge. "Our credit outlook for 2012 remains stable for U.S. consumer nondurables," said credit analyst Nicole Delz Lynch, referring to food and beverage companies. For the durables sector (major home appliances/white goods, furniture, home improvement products, small appliances, office products, and other consumer discretionary household products companies), she added, "Our outlook is stable to slightly negative for some subsectors, as compared with 2011." The report, titled "Rating Trends For U.S. Consumer Products Companies Continue To Improve," looks at rating trends in these sectors in the first half of 2012, and discusses Standard & Poor's ratings expectations for the second half of the year. The report is available to subscribers of RatingsDirect on the Global Credit Portal at www.globalcreditportal.com. If you are not a RatingsDirect subscriber, you may purchase a copy of the report by calling (1) 212-438-7280 or sending an e-mail to email@example.com. Ratings information can also be found on Standard & Poor's public Web site by using the Ratings search box located in the left column at www.standardandpoors.com.