Fitch puts UK on review for downgrade

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Associated Press

Posted on March 22, 2013 at 12:32 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 22 at 12:34 PM

LONDON (AP) — Fitch Ratings has placed the United Kingdom's AAA rating on review for a downgrade, citing forecasts indicating that government debt will peak later and at a higher level than previously expected.

The warning comes just days after Britain's Treasury chief unveiled an austere budget despite weakness in the economy that has raised fears of a third recession in just over four years.

Last month, Moody's Investor Service downgraded the U.K.'s credit rating, saying that sluggish economic growth would hinder the government's ability to control rising debt.

Fitch said Friday it was putting the U.K. on "rating watch negative" — indicating a heightened probability of a downgrade in the near term — and that it expects to complete its review of the U.K.'s sovereign debt ratings by the end of April.

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