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WASHINGTON'S $568.2 MILLION GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS RATED 'AA' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

WASHINGTON'S $568.2 MILLION GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS RATED 'AA' BY FITCH
 -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --
 NEW YORK, Jan. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- State of Washington's $568.2 million general obligation bonds, expected this week through negotiation with a syndicate led by Lehman Brothers, are rated "AA" by Fitch. The issue will include $255.5 million Series 1992A and AT-6 for various purposes, $230.2 million Series R-92C which will refund certain callable maturities of several series of outstanding various purposes general obligations, and $82.5 million Series R-92D, which will similarly refund motor vehicle fuel tax general obligations. Series 1992A and AT-6 will mature on Feb. 1, 2005-17, while the refunding bonds will mature on Sept. 1, 1992-2008, which a single maturity on June 1, 1992. All of the bonds will be callable but the provisions are not yet determined.
 Washington's high credit position and expectations derive from consistent application of sound debt policy, improved financial practices and gradual economic diversification. The recession is now in evidence but its effects are still expected to be mild in the state. The credit trend is stable.
 The budget for 1991-93 utilized all of the opening surplus, leaving a budget reserve of $260 million as a cushion. Revenues were estimated to grow at only about half the rate of 1989-91.
 Estimates of economic growth have now been lowered, reflecting both actual experience and the uncertain course of the recession. Revenues are now anticipated to be nearly $700 million below estimates and supplemental appropriations of $190 million have become necessary. In order to fill the gap and leave a balance of $60 million, the governor has made cuts of $205 million and proposed full use of the budget reserve, as well as other revenue and expenditure measures.
 Employment in October was at about the same level as a year ago, but declines were registered in construction, manufacturing and trade. Personal income growth has also slowed. The effects of the recession are still expected to be blunted by the currently strong position of the Boeing Company and its substantial order backlog. The state's unemployment rate in October was 5.6 percent, well below the national.
 -0- 1/27/92
 /CONTACT: Claire G. Cohen of Fitch, 212-908-0552/ CO: State of Washington ST: Washington IN: SU: RTG


TS -- NY057 -- 3704 01/27/92 11:42 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 27, 1992
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