Global business intelligence company Dun and Bradstreet says world business activity remains stalled and long-term growth is unlikely to be achieved until 2017.
In a report, the company says 32 countries had their risk outlook downgraded in 2012 alone, with only seven being upgraded.
The company deemed New Zealand low-risk in 2012, after a downgrade in 2011, and says GDP should grow by up to 2.3% this year.
However it says that despite New Zealand's relative safety, its overall risk profile could deteriorate in coming years because of a decline in export prices and a rise in unemployment.
The company concludes a further downgrade cannot be ruled out.