Standard and Poor’s (S&P) Credit Rating Agency downgraded China’s long-term sovereign credit profile from A+ to AA- and its short-term rating from A-1+ to A-1 on Thursday.
This is the third downgrade of its kind, following Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings.
Beijing’s long term credibility suffers from the accumulation of public and private debt, boosted during a prolonged period of credit-fueled stimulus, according to S&P. This estimate is in line with the analysis of the International Monetary Fund and the Bank for International Settlements.
China’s non-financial sector debt reached 242% of its GDP in 2016.
The downgrade comes ahead of the Communist Party Congress (CPC), that is, a once in a decade event that sets China’s strategic trajectory. The economy is seen as reaching an inflection point, as it leaving behind the stage of an “emerging” economy and acquiring social and economic characteristics of a mature economy.