Italy has had its sovereign debt rating downgraded by Standard & Poor’s after the ratings agency voiced concerns about the country’s “weakening economic growth prospects”.
S&P downgraded Italy – which has faced a number of questions over the size of its public deficit – from A+ to A with a negative outlook.
The country’s borrowing costs were reported to have risen following the news, with 10-year yields rising by 21 basis points.
The decision was also influenced by the ability of Italy’s coalition government to take the necessary action to “respond decisively” to the debt crisis.
A statement from the Italian government said the ratings were more informed by “newspapers than reality”.
It said the government had the backing of the Italian parliament demonstrated by the strength of its majority.
Last month, Italian police raided the offices of Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s to ensure the agencies were complying with regulations.