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Britain loses AAA rating: Moody's

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WASHINGTON, Feb 22 AFP

February 23 2013, 09:09AM

Rating agency Moody's cut Britain's debt rating Friday by one notch from the top-grade AAA to Aa1, citing slow growth and a rising debt burden.

Moody's also cut its AAA rating for the country's central bank, the Bank of England, by one step, also to Aa1.

The main driver for the sovereign downgrade, Moody's said, "is the increasing clarity that, despite considerable structural economic strengths, the UK's economic growth will remain sluggish over the next few years."

The British economy is constrained both by the turgid global economy, Moody's said, and the drag from businesses and the British government slashing their debt burdens.

Moody's said the country's recovery has proven to be significantly slower than previous rebounds from recession, and Moody's said it did not expect the situation to change.

"Moreover, while the government's recent Funding for Lending Scheme has the potential to support a surge in growth, Moody's believes the risks to the growth outlook remain skewed to the downside."