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Standard & Poor's confirms 'AAA' rating for Britain on deficit efforts

LONDON -- Standard & Poor's on Friday confirmed its top 'AAA' credit rating for Britain, noting the government's commitment to reducing its budget deficit.

It comes as S&P downgraded the European Union's long-term credit rating one notch, from “AAA” to “AA+”, citing weaker credit worthiness among the bloc. Britain is part of the EU but not the single currency eurozone bloc.

“Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its unsolicited 'AAA/A-1+' long- and short-term sovereign credit ratings on the United Kingdom,” it said in a statement.

“Our ratings on the UK are supported by our view of the government's commitment to consolidating the budgetary deficit toward balance by 2018, and policymakers' ability and willingness to respond rapidly to economic challenges,” it added.

The ratings agency said it expects average annual British GDP growth of more than 2.0 percent during 2013-2016.

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