11 Jul 2011

No deal yet on US debt impasse

3:21 pm on 11 July 2011

US President Barack Obama is trying to break an impasse with Republicans on reducing the nation's debt and reach a deal that will avert a looming debt default.

The bipartisan gathering at the White House lasted less than 90 minutes, a much shorter session than the four or five hours congressional aides had predicted late last week.

The US Treasury says it will exhaust its borrowing capacity by 2 August.

Treasury officials and private economists say failure to seal a deal by then could put the US at risk of another recession.

Republicans have baulked at raising the $US14.3 trillion debt ceiling, set by Congress, without steep spending cuts.

President Obama and will meet the bipartisan group of congressional leaders on Monday to continue working on a deal.

Uncertainty about the outcome of the debt negotiations has contributed to a lack of confidence among U.S. businesses over taxation levels and growth prospects.

Investor worries about the debt ceiling were expected this week to put pressure on the U.S. dollar, which fell on Friday after a grim jobs report.