April 24 (Reuters) - Standard & Poor’s said on Friday it had downgraded Puerto Rico’s general obligation debt even further into junk territory, from a B rating down to a CCC plus grade.
The grading means the ratings agency now grades the U.S. commonwealth’s debt rating four notches above the lowest possible grade of “default.”
In February S&P downgraded Puerto Rico’s general obligation debt by three notches, where its debt rating was already headed into junk territory.
The latest downgrade was based on the view that the U.S. commonwealth’s access to markets has further weakened, and that political problems, particularly a lack of consensus on elements of the 2016 budget, could further worsen fiscal pressure on the territory.
“We base our downgrade...on our view that the commonwealth’s market access prospects have further weakened and Puerto Rico’s ability to meet its financial commitments is increasingly tied to the business, financial and economic conditions on the island. Absent improvement in those conditions, we believe debt and other financial commitments will be unsustainable,” S&P said in a statement. (Reporting by Tim Reid; Editing by David Gregorio)