The Americas

Moody's puts Mexico on 'negative' outlook, keeps A3 rating

FILE - In this Dec. 26, 2012 file photo, pedestrians stand in front of the Arch of the Revolution monument in Mexico City. Moody's credit rating agency has changed the outlook for Mexico's debt rating from stable to negative, citing low oil prices and slow economic growth, according to a Moody's statement on Thursday, March 31, 2016. (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini, File)

FILE - In this Dec. 26, 2012 file photo, pedestrians stand in front of the Arch of the Revolution monument in Mexico City. Moody's credit rating agency has changed the outlook for Mexico's debt rating from stable to negative, citing low oil prices and slow economic growth, according to a Moody's statement on Thursday, March 31, 2016. (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini, File)  (The Associated Press)

Moody's credit rating agency has changed the outlook for Mexico's debt rating to negative from stable, citing low oil prices and slow economic growth.

But the agency maintained Mexico's A3 rating on senior debt, indicating very low risk.

The agency said it was worried about the possible effect on government budgets of bailing out the country's troubled state oil company, Pemex.

Moody's said in a statement Thursday that the Mexican government was committed to fiscal restraint, but it was unclear whether it could achieve that in the current environment.

It noted that Mexico federal government debt rose to 34.4 percent of GDP in 2015 from 27.9 percent in 2011. But that could rise to over 40 percent of GDP if Pemex is forced to turn to the government for financing.