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SA awaits credit ratings

Several economists predict a possible downgrade either today or in December.

Several economists predict a possible downgrade either today or in December.

JOHANNESBURG - Government and South African firms wanting to borrow from overseas investors will find out today if the cost of borrowing will go up, as the world's two major credit ratings agencies prepare to unveil their decisions about the economy.

Standard and Poor's and the Fitch Group will be explaining whether they are going to downgrade the country's rating, which would make it more expensive for government and South African firms to borrow money.

Several economists predicted a possible downgrade either today or during the agencies' next announcement in December.

Already this week the World Bank downgraded its growth forecast for South Africa's economy while mining figures released yesterday were surprisingly strong.

Econometrix economist Azar Jammine said there's been some stronger than expected economic numbers over the last few days.

"As we regard economic growth the picture isn't as bleak as it seemed and government's revenue statistics showed government is still raking in a lot of tax revenue."

If the agencies don't announce a downgrade today they'll be making another announcement in December.