NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Standard & Poor's has revised Japan's credit rating outlook to "negative," blaming the crisis triggered by last month's earthquake.
S&P said late Tuesday that its revision to the nation's outlook, to "negative" from "stable," reflects the possibility of a downgrade, as Japan grapples with the specter of increased deficits in the wake of a deadly earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power plant disaster.
"Standard & Poor's expects costs related to the March 11, 2011, earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear power plant disaster will increase Japan's fiscal deficits above prior estimates by a cumulative 3.7% of GDP through 2013," said the rating agency.
The rating agency also said its revision to the outlook was "to reflect the potential for a downgrade if fiscal deterioration materially exceeds these estimates in the absence of greater fiscal consolidation."
S&P affirmed its long-term sovereign credit ratings for the country at AA- and short-term ratings at A-1+.
"Much will depend on Japan's political leadership and its ability to forge a political consensus on how to offset fiscal measures in the future," said S&P. "The extent of environmental contamination in northeastern Japan remains unknown."
S&P estimated that Japan's reconstruction could cost the country ¥30 trillion, which is equal to about $364 billion.
Japan isn't alone. On April 18, S&P lowered the outlook for the United States
|Overnight Avg Rate||Latest||Change||Last Week|
|30 yr fixed||3.98%||4.08%|
|15 yr fixed||3.09%||3.11%|
|30 yr refi||4.06%||4.16%|
|15 yr refi||3.17%||3.20%|
Today's featured rates:
Regin is malware has been lurking in computers for as long as six years, according to Symantec. But experts don't know much about where it is from, what it does and who has been targeted. More
Obama doesn't have the authority to create a startup visa, but part of his reform announcement could include a workaround for entrepreneurs: 'parole status.' More
Nearly half of all Americans say there's a chance they'll have to work during a holiday between Thanksgiving and New Year's, according to a new poll. And one in four say they'll have to work whether they want to or not. More