NEW YORK - Moody's Investors Service is downgrading the credit rating of France, saying the French economy will grow slowly for the rest of this decade while the country's debt remains high.
The firm lowered its rating to "Aa2" from "Aa1." That means France has Moody's third-highest possible rating.
Moody's said Friday the outlook for economic growth in France is weak, and it does not expect that to change soon. It says the high national debt burden probably will not be reduced in the next few years because of low growth and institutional and political constraints.
Overall, Moody's says France's creditworthiness is "extremely high" because of its large, wealthy, well-diversified economy, high per-capita income, good demographic trends, strong investor base and low financing costs.
The outlook was raised to "stable" from "negative."