For the first time, Washington state’s bond and credit rating given by Moody’s Investor Services has been upgraded to Aaa from Aa1.
The state’s $19.4 billion in outstanding general obligation bonds was taken into account in the decision.
“Washington has one of the strongest economies in the country, as well as a business base that has become increasingly diverse. The state also benefits from conservative financial practices and a top-notch debt management team, led by Deputy Treasurer Jason Richter. I’m thrilled that Moody’s has formally recognized the financial strength of the state with its first ever Aaa rating,” State Treasurer Duane Davidson said in a press release.
The upgrade reflects a significant increase in financial reserves even as the state increased funding for K-12 education due to a Supreme Court mandate, the continued economic growth driven largely by the technology sector, and consequent diversification of the state’s economy lessening dependence on aircraft manufacturing, according to a news release from the state Treasurer’s Office.
“Not only does the Aaa rating reflect highly upon Washington’s credit, it will help ensure that when we finance schools, roads and other important projects, we do so at the lowest possible interest rates,” Davidson said.