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June 12 (Reuters) - Ratings agency Fitch on Friday maintained its long-term sovereign credit rating on Germany at “AAA”, citing the country’s strong policy response to tackle the economic hit from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fitch reiterated its stable outlook on Germany, Europe’s largest economy, and said it expects the country’s budget deficit to decline significantly in 2021, as the economy rebounds and temporary fiscal measures expire.
Earlier on Friday, German ministers said the country can avoid a second wave of the pandemic and a new 130 billion euro ($146.32 billion) stimulus package should help the economy recover in the second half of the year.
The ratings agency expects Germany’s GDP to fall by 6.7% in 2020, versus the government’s expectation of a 6.3% contraction, which would be its worst recession since World War Two.
Fitch joins Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s in maintaining ratings on Germany at the highest possible level. ($1 = 0.8885 euros) (Reporting by Shivani Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)