Moody's Investors Service will decide whether to downgrade the United States' Aaa rating based on the country's economic performance in 2012 and prospects for future deficit reduction measures, analyst Steven Hess said Friday.
"If we're convinced that the economy takes off in 2012 and shows very strong growth, that makes the whole process of fiscal consolidation somewhat easier," Hess told Reuters in an interview.
Moody's said earlier on Friday it expects to affirm the U.S.' Aaa rating with a negative outlook once lawmakers reach a debt deal in Washington and as long as the Treasury does not default on the debt.
That statement was intended at clarifying Moody's position on U.S. ratings, said Richard Cantor, Moody's Chief Risk Officer, in the same interview.
"Sometimes there is confusion and all the ratings agencies are grouped together," he said.
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