NEW YORK (Reuters) - Rating agency Standard & Poor's on Tuesday cut Italy's sovereign credit rating to BBB from BBB-plus on the country's crumbling economy.
The outlook remains negative, S&P said in a statement.
"The rating action reflects our view of the effects of further weakening growth on Italy's economic structure and resilience, and its impaired monetary transmission mechanism," S&P said.
With Italy's economic prospects worsening, S&P said it lowered its growth forecast for the country this year to minus 1.9 percent from a forecast of minus 1.4 percent in March.
Fitch rates Italy BBB-plus with a negative outlook. Moody's rates the country Baa2 with a negative outlook.
Besides Italy's shaky economy, a political crisis has also roiled the euro zone nation recently, adding to fears that the country will make little if any progress soon in shoring up its budget.
Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta met members of his uneasy left-right coalition last week, aiming to ease tensions that have slowed reforms and hampered efforts to keep public finances under control, and said he was confident the coalition was on the right path.
(Reporting by Pam Niimi and Luciana Lopez; Editing by James Dalgleish)
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