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MILWAUKEE COUNTY (WI) REFUNDING GO BONDS RATED 'AA-' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 MILWAUKEE COUNTY (WI) REFUNDING GO BONDS RATED 'AA-' BY FITCH
 -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --
 NEW YORK, Aug. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Milwaukee County (WI)'s $155.4 million general obligation refunding bonds, Series 1992A are rated 'AA-' by Fitch. The bonds will be sold through negotiation by a syndicate led by Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc. on or about August 18. The credit trend is improving. The 'AA-' rating and improving trend on $278 million in outstanding parity debt are affirmed.
 The county's economic diversification has left it less vulnerable to business cycles, although manufacturing continues to be a major force. The current recession resulted in a 1.1 percent employment loss in the area in 1991, following seven years of strong gains. Manufacturing and construction experienced the largest losses, though the decline was less severe than during prior downturns. Monthly data for 1992 suggests stability, though no significant growth. The area's unemployment rate, once above the state and national averages, remains well below the state and U.S. levels, as it has since 1984. Income levels are above average.
 Recent fiscal reforms implemented in response to expenditure growth that exceeded the pace of revenue gains have begun to rebuild the county's fiscal health. Financial operations in 1991 ran nearly a 4 percent surplus, bringing the fund balance to 2.7 percent of expenditures.
 Estimates for 1992 reflect cost control actions taken mid-year in response to possible deficits in some areas. The anticipated problem appears to be manageable given anticipated surplus elsewhere in the budget and a contingency fund.
 The issue will refund various maturities of seven bond series issued in 1985-1991. All refunding savings will be realized in 1993 to free up funds for capital spending. Milwaukee County's overall debt ratios are above average, but are manageable given the county's good income levels.
 -0- 8/12/92
 /CONTACT: Amy S. Doppelt of Fitch, 212-908-0514. CO: Milwaukee County ST: Wisconsin IN: SU: RTG


TM -- NY091 -- 9361 08/12/92 17:34 EDT
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Date:Aug 12, 1992
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