Wall Street gives the District a credit ratings boost

WASHINGTON — Standard & Poor’s and Fitch bond rating services have upgraded the District’s general obligation bond rating from AA to AA+, the second-highest ratings issued by the two agencies.

The ratings increases cover $4.8 billion in outstanding D.C. general obligation bonds.

Moody’s Investors Service will announce its rating decision early next week.

As of November 2017, Moody’s carried an Aa1 rating on the District’s GO bonds, also its second-highest credit rating.

The rating agencies cited the District’s strong financial performance and growing economy despite federal government contraction, and say the District has managed its budgets to meet needs such as dedicated funding for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

“The upgraded ratings communicate to our investors that the nation’s capital is a great place to invest. Most importantly, it means we can borrow at the lowest interest rates making more funds available for essential programs,” said D.C. chief financial officer Jeffrey DeWitt.

Surrounding counties, including Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, Prince George’s and Montgomery, all have the highest AAA ratings from the credit rating agencies.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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