S&P says the “dominance of downgrades” in sovereign credit ratings is likely to accelerate into next year, as its balance of negative to positive outlooks dropped at the fastest rate since 2009.

Negative outlooks on countries’ creditworthiness now outnumber positive outlooks by 30, compared to a seven-year low of 4 last June.

Moritz Kraemer, S&P chief rating officer for sovereign ratings, said:

This constitutes the most negative 12-monthly swing in the outlook balance since June 2009 and indicates that the dominance of downgrades is likely to accelerate in 2017 and what remains of 2016.

The ratings agency said outlooks have deteriorated in all regions since the second half of 2015, bringing an end to two years of improvements.

Just over half of rated countries are rated investment grade (BBB- or above). The share of AAA-rated countries is now at an all-time low of 9.2 per cent, after the UK’s vote to leave the EU led to a double downgrade last month.

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