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Fitch upholds ideal U.S. credit rating but revises long-term outlook

Dec 04, 2011 Walt Wojoiechowski

Despite efforts by Congressional Republicans to recall a number of planned spending cuts triggered by the failed bipartisan deficit negotiations, the U.S. may still hold on to its credit rating. Fitch Ratings reaffirmed the U.S. government's pristine AAA credit rating this week, but scaled back its long-term outlook due in light of failure by the budget "super committee." The New York-based ratings agency cited the United States' "still strong economic and credit fundamentals," including the dollar's status as the world's reserve currency. However, Fitch downgraded its long-term outlook from stable because of "declining confidence" in policymakers' ability to enact "timely fiscal measures necessary to place U.S. public finances on a sustainable path." The outlook downgrade means there is a roughly 50 percent chance that the company will downgrade U.S. debt within the next two years, the Los Angeles Times reports. Such a condition may prove detrimental to credit decisions by investors of government bonds. Last August, rival firm Standard & Poor's downgraded its rating of U.S. credit to reflect the political brinkmanship that brought the country to the precipice of default.