UPDATE 1-Moody's affirms top Aaa rating for United States
NEW YORK, July 18 (Reuters) - Moody's Investors Service on Thursday raised its U.S. sovereign outlook to stable from negative and affirmed its top Aaa rating for the country, noting the resilience of the economy.
The rating agency said the federal government's debt trajectory is on track with criteria previously laid out by the rating agency.
The economy is growing moderately, but it is still "progressing at a faster rate compared with several Aaa peers and has demonstrated a degree of resilience to major reductions in the growth of government spending," Moody's said in a statement.
The Moody's affirmation comes as the budget outlook for the world's largest economy has brightened.
Earlier this month, for example, the White House slashed its estimate of the current year's fiscal deficit to $759 billion, or 4.7 percent of GDP, from its April forecast of $973 billion.
"We feel that we have enough information on the debt trajectory at this point to make a conclusion even without information on any possible further actions in Washington," said Steven Hess, Moody's lead U.S. sovereign credit analyst.
Last month Fitch also affirmed the U.S. sovereign AAA rating. But that agency kept a negative outlook, saying still-elevated debt levels leave the country vulnerable to shocks without more deficit reduction.
Standard & Poor's rates the country AA-plus, with a stable outlook.