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1 December 9, 2009 Research Update: Spain Outlook Revised To Negative On Rising Fiscal Deficits And Risks Posed By Macroeconomic Adjustment Primary Credit Analyst: Trevor Cullinan, London (44) Secondary Credit Analyst: Myriam Fernandez de Heredia, Madrid (34) Table Of Contents Overview Rating Action Rationale Outlook Related Research Ratings List 1 Standard & Poor's. All rights reserved. No reprint or dissemination without S&P's permission. See Terms of Use/Disclaimer on the last page

2 Research Update: Spain Outlook Revised To Negative On Rising Fiscal Deficits And Risks Posed By Overview We are revising the outlook on the Kingdom of Spain to negative from stable, and affirming the 'AA+' long-term and 'A-1+' short-term sovereign credit ratings. Compared to our expectations when we lowered our rating on the sovereign in January 2009, we now believe that Spain will experience a more pronounced and persistent deterioration in its public finances and a more prolonged period of economic weakness versus its peers. In our opinion, reducing Spain's sizable fiscal and economic imbalances requires strong policy actions, which have not yet materialized. Rating Action On Dec. 9, 2009, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services revised its outlook on the Kingdom of Spain to negative from stable, and affirmed its 'AA+' long-term and 'A-1+' short-term sovereign credit ratings. Rationale The change in the outlook stems from our expectation of significantly lower GDP growth and persistently high fiscal deficits relative to peers over the medium term, in the absence of more aggressive fiscal consolidation efforts and a stronger policy focus on enhancing medium-term growth prospects. The ratings on Spain reflect our view on its modern and relatively diversified economy and its manageable though fast-increasing general government debt burden projected at 67% of GDP in The ratings also benefit from Spain's membership of the Eurozone, which we believe provides the economy with monetary and exchange rate stability and has insulated the country from some of the pressures stemming from the recent global financial turmoil. Compared to its rated peers, we believe that Spain faces a prolonged period of below-par economic performance, with trend GDP growth below 1% annually, due to high private sector indebtedness (177% of GDP in 2009) and an inflexible labor market. These factors, in turn, suggest to us that deflationary pressures could be more persistent in Spain than in most other Eurozone sovereigns, which we expect would further slow the pace of fiscal consolidation in the medium term. Standard & Poor s RatingsDirect on the Global Credit Portal December 9,

3 Research Update: Spain Outlook Revised To Negative On Rising Fiscal Deficits And Risks Posed By Rapid credit growth and large current account deficits, averaging 9.5% of GDP in the three years to 2008, highlight to us that the Spanish economy had been overheating for some time before it entered recession. At the same time, we see that Spain has built up a sizable net external liability position with the rest of the world, at 224% of current account receipts in 2008, similar to that in lower-rated Portugal (A+/Negative/A-1; 204%) and Greece (A-/Watch Neg/A-2; 254%). In our view, reducing this imbalance between external and domestic demand will likely entail prolonged private sector financial deleveraging. Labor and product market rigidities, weak export competitiveness, and the relatively closed nature of the Spanish economy are also likely to impede recovery from the current recession. For example, we forecast Spain's real GDP per capita growth to average 0.1% in , compared with 2% for the 'AA' median. We also project that unemployment is likely to remain close to 20% in the medium term. Against this backdrop, we expect that downward pressures on the tax base and upward public spending pressure will result in general government primary deficits, averaging around 6% of GDP for the next three years. Such deficits are well above our estimate of Spain's debt-stabilizing primary surplus of 2% of GDP (assuming that the average long-term nominal interest rate on Spain's debt stock will be about 2.5 percentage points higher than nominal growth over the forecast horizon). We envision that general government primary deficits could edge even higher in the absence of more aggressive actions by the authorities and given our expectations of sluggish economic growth and rising real interest rates. In this event, we expect that the ratio of general government debt to GDP could increase from 40% in 2008 to over 90% by the middle of the next decade, which would likely be one of the most rapid increases in public debt as a share of GDP in the Eurozone. Outlook The negative outlook reflects the risk of a downgrade within the next two years in the absence of more aggressive actions by the authorities to tackle fiscal and external imbalances. However, given the relatively strong starting position of the public finances, we believe that there is time for the government to forge a political consensus supporting a credible fiscal consolidation that is consistent with the current rating. If the government announces concrete fiscal measures that we believe could credibly achieve annual primary surpluses of 2% or higher by the end of the forecast period in 2012, downward pressure on the ratings may abate. Related Research Standard & Poor's Takes A Closer Look At Its Stress Test Exercise On Spain's Financial System And The Implications For The System's Financial Strength, Sept. 15, 2009 Kingdom of Spain Full Analysis, Aug. 14,

4 Research Update: Spain Outlook Revised To Negative On Rising Fiscal Deficits And Risks Posed By Sharper Expected Decline In Spanish Regions' 2010 Revenues Could Mean Record Deficits And Negative Rating Actions, Aug. 11, Spanish Regions' New Financing System Will Help, But Not Heal; Cost Cutting Is Now The Key Rating Driver, July 17, Kingdom of Spain Long-Term Ratings Cut To 'AA+' On Structural Weakness; Outlook Stable, Jan. 19, 2009 Sovereign Credit Ratings: A Primer, May 29, 2008 Ratings List Ratings Affirmed; CreditWatch/Outlook Action Kingdom of Spain To From Sovereign Credit Rating AA+/Negative/A-1+ AA+/Stable/A-1+ N.B.--This list does not include all ratings affected. Additional Contact: Sovereign Complete ratings information is available to RatingsDirect on the Global Credit Portal subscribers at and RatingsDirect subscribers at All ratings affected by this rating action can be found on Standard & Poor's public Web site at Use the Ratings search box located in the left column. Alternatively, call one of the following Standard & Poor's numbers: Client Support Europe (44) ; London Press Office (44) ; Paris (33) ; Frankfurt (49) ; Stockholm (46) ; or Moscow (7) Standard & Poor s RatingsDirect on the Global Credit Portal December 9,

5 Copyright 2009 by Standard & Poors Financial Services LLC (S&P), a subsidiary of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this information may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of S&P. S&P, its affiliates, and/or their third-party providers have exclusive proprietary rights in the information, including ratings, credit-related analyses and data, provided herein. This information shall not be used for any unlawful or unauthorized purposes. Neither S&P, nor its affiliates, nor their third-party providers guarantee the accuracy, completeness, timeliness or availability of any information. S&P, its affiliates or their third-party providers and their directors, officers, shareholders, employees or agents are not responsible for any errors or omissions, regardless of the cause, or for the results obtained from the use of such information. S&P, ITS AFFILIATES AND THEIR THIRD-PARTY PROVIDERS DISCLAIM ANY AND ALL EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE. In no event shall S&P, its affiliates or their third-party providers and their directors, officers, shareholders, employees or agents be liable to any party for any direct, indirect, incidental, exemplary, compensatory, punitive, special or consequential damages, costs, expenses, legal fees, or losses (including, without limitation, lost income or lost profits and opportunity costs) in connection with any use of the information contained herein even if advised of the possibility of such damages. The ratings and credit-related analyses of S&P and its affiliates and the observations contained herein are statements of opinion as of the date they are expressed and not statements of fact or recommendations to purchase, hold, or sell any securities or make any investment decisions. S&P assumes no obligation to update any information following publication. Users of the information contained herein should not rely on any of it in making any investment decision. S&P's opinions and analyses do not address the suitability of any security. S&P does not act as a fiduciary or an investment advisor. While S&P has obtained information from sources it believes to be reliable, S&P does not perform an audit and undertakes no duty of due diligence or independent verification of any information it receives. S&P keeps certain activities of its business units separate from each other in order to preserve the independence and objectivity of each of these activities. As a result, certain business units of S&P may have information that is not available to other S&P business units. S&P has established policies and procedures to maintain the confidentiality of certain non-public information received in connection with each analytical process. S&P's Ratings Services business may receive compensation for its ratings and credit-related analyses, normally from issuers or underwriters of securities or from obligors. S&P reserves the right to disseminate its opinions and analyses. S&P's public ratings and analyses are made available on its Web sites, (free of charge) and www. ratingsdirect.com (subscription), and may be distributed through other means, including via S&P publications and third-party redistributors. Additional information about our ratings fees is available at Any Passwords/user IDs issued by S&P to users are single user-dedicated and may ONLY be used by the individual to whom they have been assigned. No sharing of passwords/user IDs and no simultaneous access via the same password/user ID is permitted. To reprint, translate, or use the data or information other than as provided herein, contact Client Services, 55 Water Street, New York, NY 10041; (1) or by to: Copyright by Standard & Poors Financial Services LLC, a subsidiary of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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