The United States must do more than the recently passed "fiscal cliff" measures if the country is to rescue its Aaa debt rating from its current negative outlook, rating agency Moody's Investors Service said on Wednesday.
The last minute deal passed on Tuesday to avert potentially devastating tax hikes and spending cuts clarifies the medium-term deficit and debt trajectory of the federal government, Moody's said in a statement.
However, it does not provide a basis for meaningful improvement in the government's debt ratios over the medium-term, Moody's said.
"Our ratings stance is to wait and see what the outcome of all of this is in the next few months, before we make any decision on the rating outlook or the rating itself," Steven Hess, lead U.S. sovereign credit analyst at Moody's told Reuters.
"It is an important step, but it is the first step," he said.
Lowering the U.S. budget deficits and setting them on a long-term, downward trajectory is needed in order to return the U.S. sovereign credit outlook to stable from negative.
"On the other hand, lack of further deficit reduction measures could affect the rating negatively," Moody's said.