The Standard & Poor's rating
Since the introduction of a new methodology in 2014, the Brussels-Capital Region's financial management has been rated "very strong" (the highest level for this criterion) in rating agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) semi-annual reports.
The agency has also maintained the AA rating since 2014, with "stable" prospects.
It is notable that the Region's AA rating has remained consistent since its initial evaluation in 1995. This makes it one of very few European regions to preserve its rating unchanged since it was first measured. The ratings for the federal government and Flanders were reduced to that of the Brussels-Capital Region during the crisis.
According to S&P, the Region was judged to have "very strong financial management" based on strong performance in a number of areas: an efficient policy, very high management standards, reliable budgeting, careful and sophisticated debt management, optimised liquidity management and intensive screening of entities linked to the Region and their associated risks.
Another major criterion for the Region concerns access to liquidity and financing, which has been rated "exceptional" since 2014.
In its report of January 2016, Standard & Poor’s confirmed its rating from the previous year, namely AA "with stable prospects". According to the agency, the Brussels-Capital Region owes its rating to very strong financial management, exceptional liquidity, strong budget performance and a strong economy. The report made mention of the new system for guarantee management, which contributes to the high rating for financial management.
The July 2016 and February 2017 reports maintain this rating and highlight the Region's ability to manage the budgetary consequences of the 6th State Reform and the fact that beginning 2016, the region put in place a budget monitoring committee to further strengthen its revenue and expenditure management, including closer oversight of infra-annual budget execution.