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MONMOUTH COUNTY (N.J.) $25.3 MILLION GO BONDS RATED 'AA+' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 MONMOUTH COUNTY (N.J.) $25.3 MILLION GO BONDS RATED 'AA+' BY FITCH
 -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --
 NEW YORK, June 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Monmouth County (N.J.)'s $25.3 million General Obligation Bonds, Series 1992, selling competitively on July 9, are rated 'AA+' by Fitch. Ratings on the county's outstanding GO bonds, as well as the Monmouth County Improvement Authority Recreational Facilities Bonds, Series 1990, are raised to 'AA+' from 'AA'. The upgrade reflects the county's strong financial performance and below average resident unemployment rates despite the recession. The rating also reflects the continued above average income residential tax base and affordable debt levels. Although population and tax base growth has slowed from previous rapid levels due to the prolonged recession, the county is well positioned for continued growth. The credit trend is stable.
 As one of the fastest growing counties in the state in the 1980s, Monmouth's population increased by nearly 10 percent to 553,124 in 1990. Income indices are above average. Per capita income of $25,393 in 1990 is 107 percent of the state average and 144 percent of the national level. The per capita market value of property is a high $75,000. Population growth and development have slowed since the recession's onset in 1990. Employment in the county has fallen, but resident unemployment rates continue to be below state and national averages. Tourism activity at the county's shore is reportedly strong.
 The county has been a frequent debt issuer in recent years as its infrastructure needs increased along with growth. However, debt levels are affordable. Overall debt per capita is slightly above average at $1,219, but the debt burden on the large tax base is a below average 1.6 percent. Direct debt payout is very rapid at 78 percent over ten years. Financial management and operations are strong with additions to its fund balance despite the affects of recession. The county's 1991 $15.7 million current fund balance represents 6.5 percent of revenues. The county's 1992 budget is conservative, and despite the long recession, service cuts and layoffs have not been required. County officials anticipate positive operating results in 1992, with fund balance increasing to over $16 million. State budget problems should have no direct affect on county finances as state aid (excluding welfare reimbursements) is less than 6 percent of the county's budget.
 -0- 6/30/92
 /CONTACT: Stewart Simon of Fitch, 212-908-0508/ CO: ST: New Jersey IN: SU: RTG


KD -- NY093 -- 5381 06/30/92 17:44 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 30, 1992
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