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[PARIS] Ratings firm Standard & Poor's raised on Friday its outlook on France's long-term sovereign credit rating to "stable" from "negative", a move hailed by the government as a "sign of confidence".
The US ratings agency, which stripped France of its prime AAA rating in 2012, left unchanged its view on French debt at AA, its third-highest rating.
The improvement in the country's outlook is due to the "gradual introduction of growth-enhancing reforms amid ongoing fiscal consolidation," S&P said in its report.
The agency added that the downside risks it had identified two years ago had not materialised.
French Prime Minister Manuel Calls welcomed the news, stressing the efficacy of France's economic recovery model.
"Our reforms to improve the economy, our attractiveness, without sacrificing any of our social model are paying off. Let's continue!" he said on Facebook.
Finance Minister Michel Sapin said that S&P's move was "a sign of confidence... in our country's economic and budgetary perspectives".