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NORTH CAROLINA $400 MILLION GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS 'AAA' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- North Carolina's $400 million capital improvement bonds series 1994A to be offered for bids on Jan. 19 are rated "AAA" by Fitch. The state's $632.8 million outstanding "AAA" general obligations are affirmed. The credit trend is stable. The new bonds are dated Feb. 1, 1994, due Feb. 1, 1995-2013, and will be optionally callable beginning Feb. 1, 2004 at 102%. This issue represents the first installment of the $740 million authorization approved by the voters in November 1993.
 The minor amount and burden of debt, as well as excellent debt structure, underpin the strong standing of North Carolina's general obligations. In addition, financial operations are conservative and the state's economy continues to expand and diversify. The recession created financial strain, but action was taken to maintain balance. Economic indicators are again positive and financial operations have returned to favorable status.
 All of North Carolina's debt is general obligation, repaid rapidly, and debt ratios are low at $156 per capita and 0.8% of personal income. Issuance of the remaining $340 million authorized bonds would represent less than 0.3% of personal income.
 Revenues in 1992-93 exceeded estimates, and at the close of the year, the general fund had a balance of $579 million, or about 7% of revenues. The budget for the 1994-95 biennium indicates a reduction of the balance in the first year, with operations in the second year resulting in a closing balance of $270 million, about 3% of revenues. Revenue estimates appear conservative, and collections through the first five months were 13% above the comparable period in the prior year.
 Economic recovery continues to be evident in North Carolina. Employment in 1992 eradicated 1991's losses and subsequently has grown 4.4%. The unemployment rate currently continues to be well below the national level. Personal income exhibited good growth in 1992 and through the second-quarter of 1993. On a per capita basis, the state figure is now equal to 89% of the national figure and to 100% of that for the Southeast region.
 -0- 1/13/94
 /CONTACT: Ruth Corson Maynard, 212-908-0596 or Claire G. Cohen, 212-908-0552, both of Fitch/


CO: ST: North Carolina IN: SU: RTG

PS -- NY088 -- 1883 01/13/94 16:25 EST
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Date:Jan 13, 1994
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