You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Fitch warns US on credit rating

LONDON — The United States could lose its top credit rating for the second time from a leading agency if there’s a delay in raising the country’s debt ceiling, Fitch Ratings warned Tuesday.

Congress has to increase the country’s debt limit, which effectively rules how much debt the United States can have, by the end of February or face a potential default, Fitch says.

Continue reading below

There are fears that the debate will descend into the sort of squabbling and political brinkmanship that marked the last effort to raise the ceiling in the summer of 2011.

‘‘The pressure on the US rating, if anything, is increasing,’’ David Riley, managing director of Fitch Ratings’ global sovereigns division said at a London conference. ‘‘We thought the 2011 crisis was a one-off event . . . if we have a repeat we will place the US rating under review.’’

If that happens, Riley said there was ‘‘a material risk’’ of the rating coming down, which could mean the United States would face steeper costs when it comes to servicing its debt.

If Fitch does move to downgrade the United States, it will join Standard & Poor’s, which stripped the United States of its triple A rating for the first time in the country’s history.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.