S&P affirms Slovenia's AA- rating
The agency said in its rating update on Friday the growth outlook for the Slovenian, European, and global economies had deteriorated in 2020, mainly due to the Covid-19 pandemic and measures to contain its spread.
But it thinks that "the past decade of private sector deleveraging and a decline of government debt to GDP since 2015 give Slovenia substantial buffers to weather the temporary shock without a lasting adverse impact on its credit metrics".
At the same time, Slovenia's economic expansion in recent years has been coupled with high current account surpluses, which helped reduce net external debt.
Economic growth has been balanced, without emergence of macroeconomic imbalances, according to Standard & Poor's.
"Taken together, these factors underpin our view that Slovenia entered into the recession from a much improved starting point compared with previous crises.
"We also think that the Slovenian government's policy response, along with sizeable European Central Bank (ECB) monetary support, will help preserve Slovenia's productive capacity ahead of the recovery, which we project to take off toward the end of 2020."
The stable outlook reflects the agency's anticipation of "a contained negative impact from Covid-19 on Slovenia's economy and public finances over the next two to three years, against a backdrop of strong existing fiscal and external buffers."
Overall, Slovenia's economy is projected to contract by almost 8% this year before bouncing back to 5.2% growth in 2021 and 2.6% in 2022.