WASHINGTON - Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor's issued gloomy first-quarter rating overviews during the past week, attributing a growth in downgrades to the sustained economic slump. Moody's Investors Service issued a similar report Monday.

The Fitch report, which also was published Monday, said the agency assigned more downgrades than upgrades during the quarter, while the Standard & Poor's ratio was still slightly tipped in favor of upgrades. But the number of Standard & Poor's downgrades far exceeded downgrades during the same quarter last year, the agency said Tuesday.

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