(Washington, DC) Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi announced today that both Fitch and Moody’s raised their bond ratings for the District of Columbia, as rating agencies continue to show great confidence in the District’s financial management. The ratings were issued in advance of the District’s May 23 sale of approximately $735 million in general obligation bonds.
Moody’s raised its rating from A2 to A1 and revised its outlook to stable from positive, citing “strong institutional supports for continued fiscal discipline provided by an independent chief financial officer” and the “demonstrated commitment by District leadership to financial management best practices.” Fitch raised its rating from A to A+ and revised its outlook from positive to stable, crediting the city’s consistently strong financial results and financial management as well as its conservative budgeting.
Combined with Standard & Poor’s current A+ rating for the District, the city now holds an A+/A1 from all three major bond rating agencies (For a historical perspective, visit the General Obligation Bond Credit Rating section). The higher ratings are expected to help the District save approximately $20 million over the life of the bonds that the District will issue during its current five-year financial plan.
“This is great news and the result of a strong team effort,” said Mayor Adrian M. Fenty. “It is a significant step toward helping complete many important projects. The citizens of the District should be very proud of the city’s reputation in the investment community.”
“This is a true testament to the overall financial health of the District,” said Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray. “I hope we can extend the fiscal discipline that has brought us this far and improve even further in the years ahead.”
“These are the highest ratings in the city’s history and reflect the fact that the District has the highest potential of any city in America,” said Council Committee on Finance and Revenue Chairman Jack Evans. “It is also a testament to the ability of this government to successfully manage its finances.”
“This is the shorthand that everyone uses to determine the financial health of the District,” said Gandhi. “This is the best set of messages the District has ever received. Mayor Fenty, Council Chairman Gray and other members of the Council are to be congratulated for their support of the strict fiscal management that helped us achieve these ratings.”