Default Trends and Rating Transitions
This page provides a central resource for Moody’s research on default risks, impairment and loss rates, rating transitions and performance, and liquidity studies.

    09 Apr 2021|Moody's Investors Service
    First-quarter 2021 corporate defaults totaled 13 globally, compared with 30 in last year’s first quarter, as government and central bank actions have played a critical role in averting an otherwise more dire default cycle. We expect the trailing 12-month speculative-grade default rate to fall to 3.2% by the end of the year, down from a likely peak of 6.8% in December 2020.

    06 Apr 2021|Moody's Investors Service
    We forecast a sharp increase in rising stars – issuers upgraded to investment grade from speculative grade – among rated companies this year compared with last year. Our projections show that the rising star rate for Ba1 companies will jump to 11.9% for the 12 months ending in July, up from 3.4% a year earlier.

    31 Mar 2021|Moody's Investors Service
    The proportion of Caa companies relative to our rated universe has risen over the past year. While this normally would signal a more aggressive default cycle, this riskier population is getting liquidity lifelines, including unprecedented government support, that will contribute to a healthier default picture. We expect that liquidity will continue to flow as investors reach for yield, the global economy recovers and weak documentation prevents investors from reacting to credit quality deterioration.

    01 Apr 2021|Moody's Investors Service
    Corporate defaults reached highest levels since 2008 last year, with the oil and gas sector worst hit. Hoever, default rate should fall in 2021 as economic conditions improve.
    24 Mar 2021|Moody's Investors Service
    This study reviews major trends in defaults, recoveries and rating actions in Latin America & the Caribbean region in 2020. The report covers financial and nonfinancial companies that have long-term debt ratings on the global rating scale.

    23 Mar 2021|Moody's Investors Service
    This report provides an update on the recent performance of our nonfinancial corporate debt ratings globally. Specifically, we examine (1) the one-year performance of ratings outstanding as of January 2020, and (2) the five-year performance of ratings outstanding as of January 2016.
    18 Mar 2021|Moody's Investors Service
    Annual update on credit risk by industry among nonfinancial corporates with a review of recent trends, forecasts and industry risk implied by Moody's ratings versus bond-implied rating.

    08 Mar 2021|Moody's Investors Service
    The trailing 12-month global speculative-grade corporate default rate likely peaked in the current default cycle at 6.8% in December 2020. We project that the default rate will decline to 3.7% by the end of this year, down from 6.6% in February on expectations of continued economic recovery.
    08 Feb 2021|Moody's Investors Service
    Three rated companies globally defaulted in January, significantly lower than the 15 defaults recorded in December, and the trailing 12-month global speculative-grade default rate edged down to 6.7% from 6.8%. Our Credit Transition Model now forecasts that the default rate will fall to 4.2% by the end of the year on expectations of continued economic recovery.

    28 Jan 2021|Moody's Investors Service
    Oil and gas, retail, and business services had the most defaults in 2020. We expect the trailing 12-month global corporate speculative-grade default rate to peak at 7.3% in March, then decline to 4.7% by year-end. If these forecasts crystalize, the pandemic-induced default cycle will be relatively mild compared with prior recessionary default cycles, when peaks ranged from 9.7% to 13.3%.
    25 Jan 2021|Moody's Investors Service
    The fundamental credit quality of low-rated companies will remain strained, particularly in sectors that the pandemic has hurt the most. The reliance on additional liquidity likely will persist this year for those companies confronting looming debt maturities as they try to stave off default.

    10 Dec 2020|Moody's Investors Service
    We downgraded the ratings of 13 companies to speculative grade from investment grade in Q3, down from 23 in Q2 and 25 in Q1. In Q3, we also upgraded the ratings of four companies to investment grade from speculative grade.

    Kumar Kanthan
    Senior Vice President
    Sharon Ou
    Vice President - Senior Credit Officer​
    Varun Agarwal
    Vice President - Senior Analyst