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Geithner: Prospects for Reducing Deficit Improved

April 19, 2011 (Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa)) Washington (dpa) - US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Tuesday dismissed the negative long-term outlook for US credit issued by rating agency Standard & Poor's, saying the prospects for addressing the country's fiscal problems had actually improved.

The rating agency lowered its long-term outlook for US credit to negative on Monday over concerns about the federal debt and the possibility Congress and President Barack Obama will be unable to agree on future budgets.

Geithner said in an interview on television station CNBC that he disagreed with S&P's assessment and that Democrats and Republicans were in agreement about the need to address the country's budget woes.

"We are not going to get behind the fiscal problems, we are getting ahead," he said.

The US will maintain its high rating of AAA/A-1+ for now, but that status could be harmed over the long-term, the agency said. The S&P said it kept the US rating at its highest score because of a flexible and diversified economy, effective monetary policy and worldwide preference for the dollar.

Copyright 2011 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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