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NORTH CAROLINA $280.7 MILLION GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS RATED 'AAA' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, Sept. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- North Carolina's $280,675,000 General Obligation Bonds to be offered for bids on Oct. 6 are rated 'AAA' by Fitch. The state's $580.7 million outstanding 'AAA' general obligations are affirmed. The credit trend is stable. The new bonds include $87,500,000 for prison and youth facilities, while the remainder is for refunding purposes. The prison bonds mature June 1, 1994-2008 and become callable June 1, 2002, at 102 percent. Of the refunding bonds, $120,455,000 public improvement are due Aug. 1, 1994-99; $56,395,000 highway are due Aug. 1, 1994-96; $16,325,000 clean water are due June 1, 1994-2001. The refunding bonds are not callable.
 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 continues to expand and diversify. The recession created financial strain, but action was taken to maintain balance. Economic indicators are again positive and financial operations are favorable.
 All of North Carolina's debt is general obligation, repaid very rapidly, and debt ratios are low. A total of $740 million general obligation bonds will be on the November ballot, and even if this amount of debt were now outstanding, debt would be equal to only 1.2 percent of personal income.
 Revenues in 1992-93 exceeded estimates and at the close of the year, the general fund had a balance of $537 million, or about 6 percent of revenues. The budget for the 1994-95 biennium indicates a reduction of the balance in the first year with operations in the second year resulting in a closing balance of $270 million, about 3 percent of revenues. Revenue estimates appear conservative.
 Economic recovery is very evident in North Carolina. Employment in 1992 eradicated the losses in 1991 and there has been growth subsequently. The unemployment rate continues to be well below the national level. Personal income showed good growth in 1992 and first- quarter 1993. On a per capita basis, the state figure is now equal to 89 percent of the national figure and to 100 percent of that for the Southeast region.
 -0- 9/29/93
 /CONTACT: Claire G. Cohen of Fitch, 212-908-0552/


CO: ST: North Carolina IN: SU: RTG

TM -- NY082 -- 7003 09/29/93 17:26 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 29, 1993
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