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NORTH CAROLINA $112.5 MILLION GO BONDS RATED 'AAA' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NORTH CAROLINA $112.5 MILLION GO BONDS RATED 'AAA' BY FITCH
 -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --
 NEW YORK, March 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The State of North Carolina's $112.5 million prison and youth services bonds, Series A are rated 'AAA' by Fitch. The 'AAA' rating on outstanding general obligations totaling $585 million is affirmed. The credit trend is stable. The new bonds, which are general obligations to which the state's faith, credit and taxing power are pledged, will mature on March 1, 1993-2009, and become callable beginning on March 1, 2002 at a premium not to exceed 2 percent. Bids will be taken for the new issue on March 18.
 The minor amount and burden of debt, as well as excellent debt structure, underpin the strong standing of North Carolina's general obligations. In addition, financial operations are conservative and the state's economy has been expanding. The recession has forced balancing measures including tax increases and expenditure reductions, but its effects appear to be abating and financial operations this year are paralleling estimates.
 Debt after this sale will amount to about $706 million, or $106 per capita and 0.7 percent of personal income, very low ratios. When comparable local debt is included, the total represents a very moderate 4.8 percent of personal income. The rate of repayment is rapid, with 91 percent of general obligation debt due in 10 years.
 Expenditure cuts and other measures were necessary to achieve budget balance in 1990-91. Revenue projections for 1991-92 were conservative and to date, collections are on target. Revenues and expenditures are expected to be in balance this year, although surplus is estimated at only a nominal amount. More normal growth is projected for 1992-93, with a surplus margin of nearly 4 percent built into the budget. North Carolina has demonstrated its commitment to fiscal responsibility through tax and expenditure measures to combat the unanticipated halting of growth in the recession.
 There are some indications of economic stabilization, with employment now steady and personal income showing successive gains in each of the first three quarters of 1991. The November 1991 unemployment rate of 5.7 percent was well below the national rate of 6.8 percent.
 -0- 3/12/91
 /CONTACT: Claire G. Cohen of Fitch, 212-908-0552/ CO: ST: North Carolina IN: SU: RTG


AH -- NY079 -- 7583 03/12/92 17:36 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 12, 1992
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