Fitch Ratings maintained the sovereign ratings of Japan with a ‘negative’ outlook on Monday.

The ratings were retained at ‘A’ citing the strengths of an advanced and wealthy economy, with correspondingly robust governance standards and public institutions.

Fitch affirmed a ‘negative’ outlook on Japan’s ratings, given continued downside risks to the macroeconomic and fiscal outlook from the coronavirus shock.

The agency expects the large fiscal support to be unwound gradually, but downside risks to growth exacerbate the challenge of placing the debt ratio on a downward path over the medium term.

After a 5.3 percent fall in 2020, Fitch forecast the economy to rebound by 3.5 percent in 2021 and 1.5 percent in 2022, supported by continued overseas demand for Japanese exports, which have recovered over recent months.

Fitch estimated government debt to have jumped to 254.8 percent of GDP in 2020 from 231.2 percent in 2019, the highest pre-pandemic debt ratio among Fitch-rated sovereigns. The debt is forecast to peak at 258.6 percent in 2023.

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