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US led by Trump is not likely to get its AAA rating back any time soon: Standard & Poor’s

It has been more than five years since credit ratings firm Standard & Poor's downgraded the U.S. economy from the prized AAA score to AA -- and that is unlikely to change in 2017, Standard and Poor's chief sovereign rating officer told CNBC Wednesday.

At the time, S&P justified its downgrade on concerns over the rising budget deficit and debt burden. And the world's largest economy is not doing "very much to actually dispel those concerns," Moritz Kraemer, chief sovereign rating officer at S&P global ratings told CNBC on Wednesday.

The current policy making "is very uncertain," he added.

"For a triple-A rated sovereign you'd expect a little more of visibility, you'd expect sort of more continuity in policies," he said, adding that for now the outlook is stable and any changes are unlikely to take place any time soon.


S&P forecast last December an increase in U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) of 2.4 percent for 2017, up from a projection of 1.6 percent for last year.

Despite expectations of higher growth in 2017, the credit ratings agency is concerned with an uptick in government deficit as a result of President-elect Donald Trump's policies. He has pledged to cut corporate and income tax, while also investing in infrastructure.

"If you have more growth, less debt, what's not to like. But that is of course easy to say. The policy mix that seems to be coming through doesn't suggest that this is a sustainable outcome," Kraemer told CNBC.

"What we will likely see if indeed we have important tax cuts and if we have maybe additional spending on infrastructure and other spending programs that would mean other things being equal, that you'd have a larger deficit and potentially a larger debt stock," Kraemer added.

Trump is scheduled to give a press conference Wednesday, where investors will be looking for any details on policies.

Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event in New York.
Chris Goodney | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event in New York.

In a report issued Wednesday, S&P said that sovereign rating downgrades are unlikely to outpace upgrades in 2017. Last year, downgrades outnumbered upgrades by almost 3:1, the agency said.

However, in the report, Kraemer acknowledged that Europe has had a significant improvement compared to other regions in the world.

"Europe has seen the strongest improvement among all regions in its outlook balance since 2011, when the region accounted for almost the entire global negative outlook bias--largely as a result of the eurozone crisis," he said.

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