Fitch Ratings said on Tuesday that it was keeping its triple-A rating of the United States, giving the world’s largest economy a reprieve 10 days after rival Standard & Poor’s dealt the country its first-ever downgrade.
The agency said in a press release that the affirmation “reflects the fact that the key pillars of US’s exceptional creditworthiness remains intact: its pivotal role in the global financial system and the flexible, diversified and wealthy economy that provides its revenue base.”
Fitch also said the outlook for the rating, which measures the possibility that the U.S. will default on its debt, was stable and that the deal reached on Aug. 2 to raise the U.S. debt ceiling was “a significant positive development.” According to Fitch, the country’s public finances are now on a sustainable path “consistent with the U.S. sovereign rating remaining ‘AAA’.”
In Washington, the Obama administration welcomed the announcement from Fitch to keep its rating on U.S. debt at the highest grade, but said it would be important for Congress to take the steps called for in the budget agreement.
The number-three ratings agency estimates that the U.S. debt-to-Gross Domestic Product [GDP] ratio will fall back to approx. 85 percent by the second half of this decade, down from almost 100% of GDP today.