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WASHINGTON $50 MILLION GO BONDS RATED 'AA' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 WASHINGTON $50 MILLION GO BONDS RATED 'AA' BY FITCH
 -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --
 NEW YORK, Sept. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Washington's $50 million (accreted value) General Obligation College Savings Bonds Series 1992, expected on September 21 through negotiation with a syndicate headed by Seattle-First National Bank and Merrill Lynch & Co. are rated 'AA' by Fitch. The 'AA' rating assigned to $4.5 billion outstanding general obligations is affirmed. The credit trend remains stable.
 The new issue will be zero coupon bonds, due on Aug. 1, 1997-2012 and are not callable. Proceeds will provide matching funds for common school construction by local school districts. Debt service will be met from general state revenues.
 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. The most recent forecast, made in September, indicates that conditions are weakening somewhat. Employment growth slowed from 4.9 percent in 1990 to 0.9 percent in 1991, though the figure for May 1992 is up 0.8 percent from the same month last year. Personal income gains continue at a faster pace than in the nation, with first quarter 1992 results showing a 5.3 percent increase over the same period in 1991.
 Revenues for the current biennium, which ends June 30, 1993, were revised downward in November 1991, adjusted upward in February and June, but lowered in September. The state now expects a biennium-end surplus of $128 million, down from $163 million indicated by the June forecast. The state's rainy day fund is still expected to close the biennium with $100 million.
 -0- 9/18/92
 /CONTACT: Claire G. Cohen, 212-908-0552, or Amy S. Doppelt, 212-908-0514, both of Fitch/ CO: ST: Washington IN: SU: RTG


KD -- NY081 -- 1311 09/18/92 17:12 EDT
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Date:Sep 18, 1992
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