Here’s some exciting news: State Treasurer Janet Cowell announced yesterday that North Carolina received an “AAA” bond rating from all three major bond rating agencies — the highest rating possible.
The ratings, compiled by Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings, are a result of sound fiscal management and prospects for continued economic growth under the conservative leadership of the Republican-led General Assembly. North Carolina is one of only nine states to possess this pristine credit rating.
“North Carolina’s AAA general obligation bond rating reflects the state’s long history of conservative fiscal practices, an economy that continues to recover and expand, and declining debt levels,” said the Moody’s report.
All three rating agencies attribute North Carolina’s strong bond rating and stable outlook to responsible financial management, a diverse and growing economy and strong population growth. In just the last few years, the state has added over a quarter of a million new private sector jobs, paid off a nearly $3 billion unemployment insurance debt to the federal government, and put away more than $1 billion into its “rainy day” fund.
According to Fitch Ratings, “North Carolina’s AAA general obligation bond rating reflects its moderate liabilities, conservative financial operations and long-term prospects for continued economic expansion and diversification.”
“The stable outlook on the bonds reflects our expectation that the state’s economic trends will continue to reflect improvement and growth above national levels,” the Standard and Poor’s report affirms. “The state’s high housing affordability and favorable climate have helped spur strong domestic in-migration, which has been good for population and economic growth.”
North Carolina’s expanding economy and quality of life has positioned it as one of the fastest growing states in the nation. North Carolina is growing at a rate of 281 people per day and surpassed Michigan in 2015 to become the ninth most populous state in the nation.