Fitch keeps 'AAA' rating on US credit

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — Fitch Ratings says that the U.S. still deserves its highest credit rating.

Fitch on Friday affirmed its "AAA" rating on U.S. debt. The ratings agency said its outlook on the rating is stable, meaning it does not expect a downgrade in the near future.

Fitch said the U.S. can tolerate more debt than other countries because the dollar is the world's pre-eminent reserve currency and fixed-income asset. It also noted the country has the deepest and most liquid capital markets in the world.

The federal deficit should decline as a portion of gross domestic product over the next few years, though it should resume growing in fiscal 2016, Fitch said

The U.S. is recovering more quickly from the Great Recession than most other advanced countries, though the recovery is slow compared to past economic crises.

Fitch also said economic policymaking in the U.S. is weaker than in other countries with strong credit ratings, as evidenced by the debt ceiling crises, the federal government shutdown in 2013, and other events. It said more debt ceiling wrangling could come in 2015.

Fitch started a review of the U.S. credit rating in late 2013, but in March the firm said it would not lower its rating.

Another ratings agency, Standard & Poor's, downgraded the U.S. credit rating one notch in 2011 after a standoff in Congress over whether to raise America's borrowing limit. S&P's rating remains at "AA+."