Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Aging and National Credit: Standard and Poor's Reviews Global Graying

On May 31, 2006, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services published a report outlining various simulations through 2050 of the fiscal and hypothetical sovereign ratings implications for 32 sovereigns, including all 25 EU members, as well as Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Japan, and the Republic of Korea. While the commentary article "Global Graying: Aging Societies and Sovereign Ratings" is only available to subscribers to S&P's RatingsDirect, they have also been publishing country by country reports, some of which speak to aging workforce issues. Some of these (Germany, Belgium, France)are available for free to people who register at S&P's website and others have had some press coverage.
A key conclusion of the main report is the fall-out that ageing may have on government solvency. Without further adjustment either to the current fiscal stance or to pension and health care costs, the median general government net debt-to-GDP ratio for the sample will reach an overpowering 180% of GDP by the middle of the current century, from 33% in 2005.
Publically available country specific reports include:Source: Globe & Mail "Nations get 'wake-up' call about aging workers" (June 6, 2006)

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