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MARYLAND $130 MILLION GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS RATED 'AAA' BY FITCH --FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, Jan. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Maryland's $130 million General Obligation Bonds, State and Local Facilities Loan of 1993, First Series, to be offered for bids on Jan. 13, are rated AAA' by Fitch. The AAA' rating assigned to $2.1 billion outstanding general obligations is affirmed and the credit trend remains stable. The new bonds will mature on Feb. 1, 1996-2008 and will become callable beginning Feb. 1, 2003 at prices staggered by maturity dates.
 Maryland has excellent credit characteristics with a diversified economic base, conservative policies and a moderate burden of debt relative to resources.
 The recession has been longer and deeper in Maryland than had been expected. Revenues were far short of original projections in both of the last two fiscal years and, in the current year, have been revised downward by about 6 percent. This, together with higher costs, especially for Medicaid, has caused continuing budgetary pressure. A combination of expenditure cuts, revenue measures, and reductions in financial support for local units has been employed to maintain balanced operations. This year's budget is designed to produce a small general fund surplus of $26 million and in addition, a deposit of $50 million into the reserve fund. In 1991-92, the general fund incurred a budgetary deficit of $56 million which was covered by an equal amount of reduced appropriations. Based on generally accepted accounting principles, the general fund deficit undesignated was $369 million, the difference largely reflecting accruals at year-end.
 Employment in September 1992 was about 6 percent below the peak level of 1990. Losses are spread throughout the various sectors, with the most deterioration in construction and manufacturing. However, the unemployment rate remains below the national level. Personal income growth slowed in 1990, then dropped sharply in 1991, with the state increase equal to less than half that of the nation. Gradual improvement has been registered since, with second quarter 1992 state personal income increasing at about 80 percent of the national rate.
 -0- 1/8/93
 /CONTACT: Claire G. Cohen of Fitch, 212-908-0552/


CO: ST: Maryland IN: SU: RTG

WB -- NY049 -- 3118 01/08/93 15:18 EST
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Date:Jan 8, 1993
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