LONDON, Jan 13 (Reuters) - The fiscal paths pursued by the United States, Germany, France and Britain have not changed materially over the last 5 months and remain consistent with top-notch ‘Aaa’ credit ratings, Moody’s Investors Service said on Thursday.
The ratings agency noted the United States had taken a different path to its European peers, rolling out further stimulus while the others had moved to cut their deficits.
Britain and the U.S. had seen the steepest increases in government debt as a result of the financial crisis, it said.
“For the four largest Aaa countries — France, Germany, the UK and the U.S. — these (fiscal) paths show little change from those analysed by Moody’s last August,” the agency said in its “Aaa Sovereign Monitor”.
“Despite these differing strategies, Moody’s continues to believe that all of these countries still possess debt metrics ... that are compatible with their Aaa ratings.”
Longer-term, Moody’s said all four countries faced “dramatic increases” in their commitments from pension and healthcare subsidies which must be brought under control.
Moody’s also cast an eye over Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.
It expected Australia to continue to post one of the lowest debt levels of any Aaa-rated sovereign.
“Fiscal metrics for Australia and Singapore are among the strongest of Aaa-rated sovereigns,” it said. “New Zealand’s debt position compares favourably with the group, but its near-term trajectory shows a further rise in its debt ratios before a reversal is achieved.” (Reporting by Mike Peacock; editing by Chris Pizzey)