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S&P affirms 'stable' outlook for US debt, ratings

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has affirmed its “stable” outlook for U.S. government debt and its ratings for short- and long-term U.S. debt, citing the American economy's strength and the government's flexible economic policies.

The rating agency on Friday said it is keeping its rating for short-term U.S. debt at “A-1+” and for long-term debt at “AA+.”

Federal deficits, while still large, have fallen sharply from the $1 trillion-plus deficits of President Barack Obama's first term. Still, S&P warns _ as rating agencies have done frequently in recent years _ that the political brinksmanship in Washington over the federal budget looms as a problem. S&P says it expects the deficit to rise toward the decade's end unless there are new measures to raise revenue or cut spending.

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