Developing Divergence

The latest update of our 50-country BlackRock Sovereign Risk Index (BSRI) is a bumper annual edition focusing on divergence across developed economies. Check out our interactive BSRI to view individual country scores, compare two countries and sort rankings by index components.

Drawing on a pool of financial data, surveys and political insights, the BSRI provides investors with a framework for tracking sovereign credit risk. The BSRI was launched in June 2011, following a BlackRock Investment Institute event on sovereign debt. The Model-Based Fixed Income Team created the BSRI as a quantitative framework to uncover and track sovereign credit risk in a changing world.

Mapping Sovereign Risk: BSRI Country Rankings by Quintile, December 2014


  • The U.S. and U.K. have gained ground in the BSRI on the back of strengthening economies, with markets expecting rate hikes in the year ahead.
  • The eurozone’s BSRI profile tells a story of stagnation in most of the core—and steady gains in the periphery (from a low base). Spain (up six notches), Netherlands (up four) and Italy (up two) were notable gainers.
  • Japan’s BSRI score has held steady despite a mounting debt load. A strong external finance position and government stability partially offset Japan’s poor fiscal health.
  • A sharp fall in oil prices was a key economic trend. We delve into the complex relationship between natural resources price swings and the BSRI scores of commodities exporters such as Russia.
  • India rose six notches, gaining much ground after the election of reformist Narendra Modi. China fell six notches on rising local government debts. Greece improved but faces a snap election that brings into question its eurozone membership.
Ben Brodsky and Sami Mesrour

Ben Brodsky and Sami Mesrour

Ewen Cameron Watt and Garth Flannery

BlackRock Investment Institute

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A World of Risk

BSRI Interactive Chart

Our interactive BlackRock Sovereign Risk Index ranks the creditworthiness of 50 countries.

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Nearing Normal

2015 BII Outlook

BlackRock Investment Institute: 2015 Outlook

The U.S. Federal Reserve is (reluctantly) ending a long period of abnormally low rates. We sketch out the implications for markets and update our 2015 outlook.