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MIDDLESEX COUNTY (N.J.) GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS RATED 'AAA' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Middlesex County (N.J.)'s $63.6 million General Obligation Refunding Bonds, Series 1992 A, are rated `AAA' by Fitch. The bonds will be offered through negotiation on or about April 19. The `AAA' rating on $131.6 million outstanding GO bonds is affirmed.
 Middlesex County's strong, diverse economic base makes it one of New Jersey's most creditworthy counties. Located midway between Philadelphia and New York City, Middlesex is one of the state's major employment centers and headquarters locations.
 The recession slowed development, with residential construction progressing at a better pace than commercial/industrial development. The unemployment rate increased in tandem with the state rate in 1992, surpassing the national average for the first time during the recession. The county's infrastructure is generally in place, with the capital improvement program including primarily upgrading and rehabilitation of facilities; no large projects are planned.
 Debt levels are very low. While debt service costs as a percentage of the budget are above average, this is mitigated by the very rapid payout and generally narrow responsibilities of New Jersey counties. The county's financial performance is strong, with good fund balances maintained annually. Attempts are being made to construct the 1993 budget without a property tax levy increase, with balance achieved primarily through expenditure reductions. The credit trend is stable.
 -0- 4/16/93
 /CONTACT: Ruth M. Levine of Fitch, 212-908-0605/


CO: Middlesex County ST: New Jersey IN: SU: RTG

WB -- NY060 -- 6885 04/16/93 15:34 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 16, 1993
Words:249
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