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WASHINGTON $623.9 MILLION GO BONDS RATED 'AA' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 WASHINGTON $623.9 MILLION GO BONDS RATED 'AA' BY FITCH
 -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --
 NEW YORK, Aug. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Washington's $623.9 million general obligation and general obligation refunding bonds expected on Aug. 18 through negotiation with a syndicate headed by Goldman, Sachs & Co. are rated 'AA' by Fitch. The 'AA' rating assigned to $4.2 billion outstanding general obligations is affirmed. The credit trend remains stable.
 The new issue includes two new money offerings and two refunding series. The new money series consist of $300 million for general purposes, due Oct. 1, 1993-2017, and callable beginning in 2002 at par, and $8 million for transportation purposes due Oct. 1, 1993-2017, and also callable beginning in 2002 at par. The refunding bonds consist of $293.5 million maturing Oct. 1, 1992-2010 and callable beginning in 2002 and par that will refund general purpose debt, and $22.3 million maturing Oct. 1, 1993-2002 and also callable beginning in 2002 at par refunding transportation debt. The refunded bonds total $289.9 million and include parts of 10 series sold in 1986-1988. While all four series of the new issue are general obligations, the transportation bonds are payable from pledged motor vehicle fuel taxes which provide good coverage.
 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. 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 Nov. 1991, but have since been adjusted upward in February and June. The state now expects a biennium-end surplus of $163 million, up from $45 million projected in May. The state's rainy day fund is still expected to close the biennium with $100 million.
 -0- 8/12/92
 /CONTACT: Claire G. Cohen, 212-908-0552, or Amy S. Doppelt 212-908-0514, both of Fitch/ CO: ST: Washington IN: SU: RTG


LD -- NY092 -- 9367 08/12/92 17:41 EDT
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Date:Aug 12, 1992
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