LONDON (AP) — In a bleak assessment, credit ratings agency Moody’s has warned that Europe remains highly vulnerable to another downturn despite all its fire-fighting efforts over the past few years.
In a wide-ranging report Tuesday, Moody’s said Europe “is not ready to cope with another major slump stressing the financial system” and noted five vulnerabilities that could deepen the impact in Europe of the next downturn, including higher debt levels, peaking assets prices and regulatory risks.
The warning follows a relatively calm period for the 19-country eurozone, which has grappled with a debt crisis over the past decade. However, that sense of calm has dissipated recently amid rising investor concerns about Italy. The new Italian government has fleshed out plans that will, if enacted, see the country’s budget deficit swell.