The Strategist

Fitch downgrades USA’s long-term rating for the first time in nearly 30 years

08/02/2023 - 10:00

Fitch lowered the United States' long-term rating from AAA to AA+. The danger of default is marginally elevated as a result of the downgrade.

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The United States' long-term rating was reportedly reduced from AAA to AA+ by the international rating agency Fitch.  According to Bloomberg, the United States has held an AAA rating from Fitch since at least 1994. The U.S. Treasury Department and the White House disapproved of Fitch's choice.

The agency's decision is supported by a statement on its website that cites "the expected deterioration of the financial situation over the next three years, the high and growing debt burden of the government as a whole, and weakened governance."

According to Fitch's view, the latter has over the previous 20 years "manifested itself in repeated debt limit waivers and last-minute decisions."

Other factors cited by the agency for the downgrade included the general propensity for the economy to enter a recession, an increase in interest rates and tightening of Fed policy, an increase in overall public debt, and an increase in the U.S. budget deficit. At that, the outlook is stable.