One of the top credit rating agencies, Standard & Poor's, has downgraded the United States' top-notch AAA rating.
S&P cut the long-term US credit rating by one notch to AA+, citing concerns about growing budget deficits.
As rumours swirled earlier about the downgrade, unnamed US officials had told US media that S&P's analysis of the US economic situation was flawed.
The move follows the long political battle in Washington in recent months over raising the US debt ceiling.
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