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S&P affirms reduced rating of long-term US debt
WASHINGTON—The rating agency that downgraded the US government's long-term credit last year has reiterated its assessment and its negative outlook. It says US political leaders aren't addressing the federal debt burden. Standard & Poor's said Friday that it's keeping its rating of U.S. long-term debt at "AA+." It cut the rating in August after a battle in Congress over whether to raise the nation's borrowing limit. Previously, the US government had always received a "AAA" rating, reserved for the most credit-worthy borrowers.
At the time, S&P said it lowered the credit rating in part because it had lost some confidence in the US political system. Yesterday, it made clear that hasn't changed. "We believe that political polarization has increased in recent years," the S&P said, citing the failure of last year's deficit-reduction "supercommittee" to reach agreement.
Still, S&P says the United States has an "adaptable and resilient" economy, and many governments hold dollar reserves, a sign of confidence in the currency. Last year's rating cut contributed to a stock market plunge and caused a sharp fall in US consumer and business confidence.
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