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S&P sees U.S. keeping AA+ rating if it avoids default

NEW YORK, Aug 29 (Reuters) - Standard & Poor's said on Tuesday the United States would maintain its AA+ credit rating, its second highest, as long as the federal government avoids a default even if it does not increase the debt ceiling in a timely manner.

"If the debt ceiling is not raised in a timely way, we expect, at a AA+ level of confidence, that the government will take necessary measures to avoid default on the debt which our ratings address," Robert Sifon-Arevalo, a managing director in S&P's sovereign ratings group, said in a statement. (Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)