Corporate liquidity remained strong in February, reports Moody’s Investors Service, noting that its liquidity stress index (LSI) remains at near record lows.
As of the end of February, Moody’s LSI was unchanged at 2.7%, which is a near-historic low; the LSI falls when corporate liquidity appears to improve and rises when it weakens.
“The indicator continues to hover around record lows as liquidity conditions for [speculative-grade] borrowers remain healthy,” Moody’s says in a news release.
Upgrades outnumbered downgrades by a ratio of eight to five in Moody’s speculative-grade liquidity ratings in February.
The rating agency says it expects economic and credit market fundamentals to remain supportive of U.S.-based speculative-grade firms this year, but it sees less room for the improvement in the LSI compared with last year.
“Issuers in 2018 will be more sensitive to tightening monetary policy and lower-rated companies will be hit by the likely curtailment of interest deductibility, while the commodity sector has fewer companies with weak liquidity,” Moody’s says.