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S&P Upgrades Idaho A Notch On Structural Balance, Pension Management

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DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

 

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised its rating on Idaho a notch to the highest level before coveted AAA status, citing the Western U.S. state's structurally balanced operations in the downturn and deft management of pension and other benefit liabilities.

The agency also highlighted Idaho's strong economic growth in the last decade compared with the U.S. as a whole and the mild degree to which that growth retrenched during the recession.

Other contributors to the higher rating included: Idaho's practice of building up reserves during its economic expansion, its constitutional ban on long-term general obligation debt, and its requirement for low debt ratios.

The agency gave the AA+ rating a stable outlook, saying the state's use-of-revenue assumptions may force spending cuts but will put the state on sounder operational footing as the economy recovers.

The Idaho move comes a day after S&P raised its rating on South Dakota a notch as well, pointing to its financial stability and the low level of its long-term liabilities.

 

-By Joan E. Solsman, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2291; joan.solsman@dowjones.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 30, 2011 14:48 ET (18:48 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2011 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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