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S&P Global Ratings thought leadership delivers essential and timely data-driven insights and analysis to the world’s financial markets.

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Coronavirus Impact

Key Takeaways From Our Articles

Our periodic roundup of key takeaways from our articles brings together all of S&P Global Ratings’ coronavirus-related research—including our regularly updated list of rating actions we have taken globally on corporations, sovereigns, and project finance.


The credit downturn caused by COVID-19 has been abrupt and severe, with a tremendous variance of impact across different corporate sectors. As markets begin to reopen, we will continue to share our views on the economic and credit implications.

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Default, Transition, and Recovery:

2020 Annual Sovereign Default And Rating Transition Study

Published April 12, 2021

Sovereign defaults reached a record high of seven in 2020 as COVID-19 and falling oil prices hurt global credit quality; all the defaulters began the year rated 'B' or lower.

Sovereign downgrades rose to 26, and most were of speculative-grade issuers from the emerging and frontier markets.

Despite the unprecedented economic, social, and financial market turmoil in 2020, sovereign credit ratings showed solid performance with a one-year Gini ratio of 91.5%, near the long-term average.

By the end of 2020, the number of sovereigns rated at the lowest rating levels, 'CCC+' and below, had risen to seven, suggesting defaults could remain elevated in coming years.

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Global Credit Conditions: Q2 2021

Credit conditions will likely remain underpinned by an improving economic sentiment, vaccine progress, and strongly supportive financing conditions.

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Credit Trends: Review Of Ratings Performance Highlights Resilience In 2020

The global coronavirus pandemic led to the deepest recession the world has seen since the Great Depression. Global GDP declined 4% in 2020 amid lockdowns to contain the virus' spread, while governments and central banks stepped in with unprecedented amounts of fiscal and monetary stimulus.

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At S&P Global Ratings we are continuously assessing the economic and credit impact of the COVID-19 pandemic around the world. Subscribe to our Coronavirus Bulletin today and we will ensure you have all our latest research and forecasts as they are published.

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Economic Research:

U.S. Markets See Inflationary Ghosts; Macroeconomic Signs Disagree

Published April 12, 2021

As the U.S. economy looks set for its best year of growth since Beverly Hills Cop and the original Ghostbusters were battling for box-office dominance (that was 1984, for you young'uns), some financial market commentators are suddenly convinced that spiraling inflation is on the horizon--and that the Federal Reserve will be forced to tighten monetary policy sooner than it would like.

We disagree.

Yes, the massive government support measures to combat the effects of the pandemic--notably the trillions of dollars in fiscal stimulus from Washington and the Fed's easing of credit conditions--make it more likely that prices will rise. The increase in the yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes reflects this view, and 10-year inflation expectations have moved in parallel.

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U.S. Real-Time Data: Poised To Spring Ahead Amid Widespread Vaccine Rollouts

The pace of COVID-19 vaccinations has picked up, allowing some more easing of restrictions. Mobility trends also continue to strengthen as states reopen.

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Global Economic Outlook: Q2 2021

The economic recovery from COVID-19 looks set to accelerate in mid-2021, particularly in the U.S. on the back of a massive fiscal stimulus plan, although a high degree of unevenness and uncertainty persists.

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An inside view into how top S&P Global Ratings economists and researchers analyze macro, credit and market developments.

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Natural Capital And Biodiversity:

Reinforcing Nature As An Asset

Published April 12, 2021

Climate change and biodiversity loss are interlinked, but solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are unlikely to benefit biodiversity in the same way.

Instead, biodiversity needs to be given equal consideration in any nature-based climate solution offering.

The biodiversity crisis is a still-nascent ESG consideration for investors but it is climbing up the agenda.

Governments and companies are increasingly viewing the incorporation of natural capital into assessments of wealth and performance as fundamental to addressing biodiversity loss.

Targeted corporate and government actions to reduce deforestation linked to soy, beef, and palm oil will form a key part of the response, as will supporting smallholder farmers and indigenous communities to protect nature.

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Sustainable Finance Newsletter: April 2021

As of March 31, 2021, we've completed over 70 ESG evaluations. Five public ESG evaluations were released during the past month, including Algonquin Power and Utilities, Enagas S.A., Telefonica S.A., and Grifols S.A We also published several thought leadership pieces, including one outlining the factors influencing the transition finance market and one highlighting key governance trends in 2021.

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ESG Industry Report Cards For Structured Finance Published

Our credit ratings on structured finance transactions incorporate ESG credit factors when, in our opinion, they could affect the likelihood of timely payment of interest or ultimate repayment of principal by the legal final maturity date of the securities.

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