7 Aug 2011

US must do better - White House

6:42 am on 7 August 2011

The White House says the United States ''must do better'' in tackling its economic challenges.

Spokesman Jay Carney said the talks on raising the US debt ceiling took too long and were too divisive.

The BBC reports the uncertainty led to a week of turmoil on the world financial markets.

There were fears that the US could be heading for a double-dip recession and that the debt crisis in the eurozone could spread to Italy and Spain.

A compromise debt deal was passed in the Senate on Tuesday. It raises the federal debt limit by up to $US2.4 trillion from $US14.3 trillion with savings of at least $US2.1 trillion in 10 years.

Standard & Poor's on Friday downgraded its AAA credit rating for the US to AA+.

Mr Carney said the deal was ''an important step in the right direction'', but ''the path to getting there took too long and was at times too divisive''.

He said the US must now ''do better to make clear our nation's will, capacity and commitment to work together to tackle our major fiscal and economic challenges''.