Britain’s AAA rating under more pressure

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Britain’s gold-plated AAA status has come under pressure after an influential credit ratings agency put it on negative watch.

Standard & Poor’s said there was a one-in-three chance it could lower Britain’s rating within the next two years, if economic conditions weakened in the UK.

The agency said it expected government debt as a percentage of gross domestic product to continue to rise in 2015, before declining again, with future employment or growth shocks putting further pressure on government finances.

It said: “In our opinion, many of the factors that have restrained growth in recent years will likely continue to do so in the near term.” I

It follows similar moves from the two other major ratings agencies, Fitch and Moody’s.