NEW YORK, July 18 Credit rating agency
Egan-Jones has cut the United States' top credit ranking,
citing concerns over the country's high debt load and the
difficulty the government faces in significantly reducing
The agency said the action, which cut U.S. sovereign debt
to the second-highest rating, was not based on fears over the
country not raising its debt ceiling.
Instead, the cut is due the U.S. debt load standing at more
than 100 percent of its gross domestic product. This compares
with Canada, for example, which has a debt-to-GDP ratio of 35
percent, Egan-Jones said in a report sent on Saturday.
Lawmakers in Washington are seeking to agree on spending
cuts before raising the country's debt ceiling, with five days
remaining before President Obama's deadline for a deal.
Both Moody's Investors Service and Standard & Poor's, the
two largest rating agencies, said last week they may cut the
U.S. top rating if a deal to raise the debt ceiling is not
Fitch Ratings on Monday also reiterated that it will place
its U.S. rating on review for downgrade if the debt ceiling is
not raised by Aug. 2.
(Reporting by Karen Brettell; Editing by Dan Grebler)