IMF urges US to lift debt cap promptly to cut uncertainty

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The International Monetary Fund said Thursday that the United States should strengthen economic confidence by promptly increasing its debt ceiling, as a fresh battle looms in Congress over the issue.

"It's essential to reduce uncertainty by raising the debt limit promptly and in a durable manner," said IMF spokesman Gerry Rice.

"The US economy has a lot of things going in its favor right now," Rice said, pointing to strengthening growth and job creation, and agreement on a new budget.

"The last thing the US economy needs right now is another confidence shock such as a prolonged debate about whether the US will honor its debt obligations," he said.