U.S. outlook raised by Moody's

America is pulling out of its economic malaise, slowly but surely, according to the Moody's Investors Service rating agency.

Moody's has raised its outlook on U.S. debt to stable, shedding the negative outlook that it has maintained for nearly two years.

The move reflects a decline in the U.S. budget deficit, which is expected to continue to shrink over the next few years, in conjunction with a moderately improving U.S. economy, Moody's said in its report released late Thursday.

Moody's also affirmed its top rating -- Aaa -- for the U.S. government, noting that the nation's "debt trajectory is on track to meet the criteria laid out in August 2011 for a return to stable outlook."

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The rating agency referred to an estimate from the Congressional Budget Office that the budget deficit for the 2013 fiscal year is expected to decline to 4% of GDP from its 2012 level of 7%.

The U.S. gross domestic product rose at a 1.8% annual rate during the first quarter of the year, which is anemic, but still positive.

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