Wall Street upgrades Illinois’ bond rating on Thursday

Local News

FILE – American flags hang outside of the New York Stock Exchange, in this Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021, file photo. The White House believes it has an ally in the bond markets to make the case that inflation isn’t an economic threat. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)

SPRINGFILED, Ill. (WTVO) — Illinois has received an improved bond rating from Wall Street’s S&P Global Ratings on Thursday, the second such rating upgrade in recent days.

Moody’s Investor Service and Fitch Ratings both upgraded their outlook for the state last week.

“These responsible decisions are paying dividends, as evidenced by today’s upgrade from S&P, last week’s upgrade from Moody’s and our outlook rise to positive by Fitch,” said Gov. JB Pritzker. “My administration has worked diligently to make real progress, the rating agencies are acknowledging our progress and we remain committed to further strengthening Illinois’ fiscal standing.”

S&P last upgraded the state’s bonds in July 1997 and today’s upgrade analysis credited “improved liquidity,” “demonstrated operational controls during the COVID-19 pandemic” and an “improving economic condition” in making the rating change.

S&P upgraded Illinois’ rating on its General Obligation bonds from BBB- to BBB with a stable outlook also upgraded the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority ratings to BBB+ from BBB based on the state’s support. Build Illinois bonds were upgraded to BBB+ from BBB.

Last week Moody’s upgraded Illinois’ rating on its General Obligation bonds from Baa3 with a stable outlook to Baa2 with a stable outlook, and also upgraded the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority ratings to Baa3 from Ba1 based on the state’s support. Build Illinois bonds were upgraded to Baa2 from Baa3.

The rating of a state’s bonds is a measure of their credit quality. A higher bond rating generally means the state can borrow at a lower interest rate, saving taxpayers millions of dollars.

Even with the improved outlook, Illinois currently has the worst credit standing in the United States.

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