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MILWAUKEE COUNTY (WIS.) GO BONDS RATED 'AA-' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 MILWAUKEE COUNTY (WIS.) GO BONDS RATED 'AA-' BY FITCH
 -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --
 NEW YORK, May 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Milwaukee County, Wis.'s $2.75 million general obligation airport bonds, Series 1992A are rated 'AA-' by Fitch with an improving credit trend. The rating on $414 million in outstanding parity debt is affirmed at 'AA-', also with an improving trend. The bonds will be sold competitively May 21, and mature serially 1992-2011. Interest on the bonds is subject to the alternative minimum tax.
 Milwaukee County's economy has performed well since the mid-1980s, the result of growth in nonmanufacturing sectors. The resulting diversification has left the county less vulnerable to business cycles. Employment gains in the area followed severe recessionary losses, with particularly strong expansion in the services, trade, and construction sectors. Nonetheless, manufacturing continues to be a major force. Despite the recent national recession, growth has continued, marked by employment gains in the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) in 1990 and 1991, and only a small loss in 1990 for the county alone. The unemployment rate remains well below that of the state and U.S.
 The county has implemented numerous fiscal reforms that have shown positive results to date. These actions were in response to expenditure growth that exceeded the pace of revenue increases. The reforms, including a new 0.5 percent sales tax, significant medical center rate increases, privatization of certain operations, and overall cost control, resulted in positive financial performance in 1991. Unaudited results begin to restore the county's fiscal health, a trend that should continue given the reforms already in place and the county's history of effective financial planning.
 The county's direct debt burden is low, and debt service after this issue will represent a small 5% of operating expenditures. The budgetary impact is particularly significant given the county's rapid debt retirement schedule. Proceeds from this sale will be used to finance capitol improvements at the county's airports. This issue maintains the current maturity schedule in which 38 percent of debt is retired in five years and 67 percent is repaid in 10 years. Including overlapping debt, ratios are above average, but manageable given the county's above-average income levels.
 -0- 5/12/92
 /CONTACT: Amy S. Doppelt of Fitch, 212-908-0514/ CO: ST: Wisconsin IN: SU: RTG


KD -- NY111 -- 9366 05/12/92 17:17 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 12, 1992
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