Barack Obama has softened his demand for higher taxes for top earners and agreed to curtail future inflation adjustments for those on Social Security pensions to speed up talks with Republican rivals on avoiding a "fiscal cliff", it emerged.
Officials said the manoeuvring was aimed at reaching an agreement to rein in deficit spending before an automatic year-end increase in taxes for nearly all wage-earners strikes, as well as deep spending cuts in defence and domestic programmes.
Economists have warned that the combination of the two could send the economy into recession.
Speaking after Mr Obama and House of Representatives speaker John Boehner met, sources said the president was now seeking higher tax rates beginning at incomes over $400,000 (£247,000) for couples, down from the $250,000 (£154,300) level that was a cornerstone of his successful campaign for re-election.
Mr Obama's willingness to reduce future cost-of-living increases in Social Security pensions marked a clear concession, although it came with an asterisk - he wants recipients to be exempt from loss from scaling back future pension cost-of-living increases.