UPDATE 3-S&P cuts Italy one notch, outlook negative
(Adds summary, economist comment)
* S&P cuts unsolicited ratings to A/A-1 from A+/A-1+
* Says outlook for economic growth "weakening"
* S&P move a surprise, markets expected Moody's to cut
By Wayne Cole and James Mackenzie
Sept 20 (Reuters) - Standard and Poor's cut its unsolicited ratings on Italy by one notch, warning of a deteriorating growth outlook and damaging political uncertainty, in a move that took markets by surprise and added to pressure on the debt-stressed euro zone.
S&P's downgraded its unsolicited ratings on Italy to A/A-1 from A+/A-1+ and kept its outlook on negative, sending the euro more than half a cent lower against the dollar.
The agency, which put Italy on review for downgrade in May, said that the outlook for growth was worsening and there was little sign that Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's fractious centre-right government could respond effectively.
Under mounting pressure to cut its 1.9 trillion euro debt pile, the government pushed a 59.8 billion euro austerity plan through parliament last week, pledging a balanced budget by 2013. Continua...