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David Cameron has said the Government needs to "go further and faster" on deficit reduction, following the downgrading of UK's credit rating.
Mr Cameron was speaking at Prime Minister's Questions today as Labour leader Ed Miliband pressed him on Moody's stripping Britain of its Triple A rating.
The Prime Minister said: "This credit rating does matter and it demonstrates we have to go further and faster on reducing the deficit."
Downing Street subsequently attempted to play down the comment, with the Prime Minister's Offical Spokesman insisting Mr Cameron was referring to current economic policy.
As the two leaders clashed over the economy at PMQs, Mr Cameron also quoted an article in the New Statesman magazine calling for Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls to be sacked.
Mr Miliband replied: "With the greatest of respect to the New Statesman, he is scraping the barrel really by quoting the New Statesman."
Mr Cameron hit back: "He says the New Statesman is scraping the barrel. It was the only newspaper that endorsed his leadership."
Catch up on all the action from today's PMQs at our liveblog.
The comments at PMQs follow the news today that Britain's economy contracted by 0.3 percent in the final quarter of 2012, but yearly growth has been revised up.
The figures from the Office for National Statistics will reinforce concerns that Britain could be set for a third recession since the 2008 financial crisis.
Gross domestic product fell by 0.3 percent between October and December compared with the previous three-month period, in line with the ONS initial estimate and economists' forecasts.
But Chancellor George Osborne was also dealt some good news as GDP growth in 2012 was revised up.
Compared with a year ago, the economy was 0.3 percent bigger, better than the original estimate of flat output, the ONS said.
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27/02/2013 on BBC News
27/02/2013 on BBC News
27/02/2013 on World at One, BBC Radio 4
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