By Sue Chang
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Fitch Ratings on Friday downgraded Spain’s long-term foreign and local currency issuer default ratings to AA+ from AAA. “The downgrade reflects Fitch’s assessment that the process of adjustment to a lower level of private sector and external indebtedness will materially reduce the rate of growth of the Spanish economy over the medium-term,” said Brian Coulton, the head of EMEA sovereign ratings, in a statement. “Despite government debt and associated interest costs remaining within the AAA range, Fitch anticipates that the economic adjustment process will be more difficult and prolonged than for other economies with AAA rated sovereign governments, which is why the agency has downgraded Spain’s rating to AA+,” Coulton added. The outlook on Spain’s ratings is stable.