MOODY's, the international credit ratings agency, has upgraded Pakistan's credit ratings from B3 with negative outlook to a stable B3. The change would be marginal. We are still nowhere near investment-grade ratings, which are six discrete jumps away. Moody's attributes the upgrade to signs of improvement in the economy due to financial assistance from the IMF and subsequent decrease in the risks to the stability of our balance of payments from any unforeseen drop in private inflows of capital. There is other positive news as well: headline inflation has been dragged down to 11 percent in July this year from 25.3 percent in August 2008. Core inflation also dropped 18.9 percent this February, to 14 percent in July. The fiscal deficit as a proportion of the economy has dropped from last fiscal's 7.6 percent to 4.3 percent. The credit ratings were, of course, also helped by the stability in forex reserves, which have increased to $11.8 billion from the $9.9 billion of December. Though all of the statistics mentioned above might be key variables in the models that ratings agencies use for evaluating creditworthiness, none of them, barring inflation, would mean much for ordinary people. The policy of a high interest rate that the central bank had been using to curb inflation has eased up as well, with SBP lowering the discount rate recently, generating economic opportunities with lowered costs of doing business. If things move on that front, we can soon expect to see more upgrades.