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WASHINGTON $275.7 MILLION GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS RATED 'AA' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

WASHINGTON $275.7 MILLION GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS RATED 'AA' BY FITCH
 -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --
 NEW YORK, May 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The State of Washington's $275.7 million general obligation bonds to be offered for bids on May 13 are rated 'AA' by Fitch. The 'AA' rating assigned to $4.1 billion outstanding general obligations is affirmed. The credit trend remains stable. The new issue includes two offerings, $252.3 million for general purposes, due June 1, 1993-2007 and callable beginning June 1, 2002, at par, and $23.4 million for transportation purposes, due March 1, 1993-2017, and callable beginning March 1, 2002, at par. While both are general obligations, the transportation bonds are payable from pledged motor vehicle fuel taxes which provide good coverage.
 Washington's bonds are well secured. Debt policy has been consistent and sound, and improvements to financial practices have been made in recent years. The economy, which is gradually diversifying, had been growing very rapidly but the recession, while mild here, has had an effect. Employment growth slowed from 4.9 percent in 1990 to 0.9 percent in 1991 and increases in quarterly personal income are well below earlier levels. As a result, revenues for the current biennium which ends June 30, 1993, were revised downward in November 1991 and, despite a later moderation of the shortfall, are well below original expectations. A combination of expenditure reductions and other adjustments, together with the use of $160 million from the rainy day fund, have been employed to regain budget balance. A surplus of about $45 million is now expected at the close of the biennium, as well as $100 million in the rainy day fund.
 -0- 5/8/92
 /CONTACT: Claire G. Cohen of Fitch, 212-908-0552/ CO: ST: Washington IN: SU: RTG


SM -- NY073 -- 8281 05/08/92 17:24 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 8, 1992
Words:303
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