Moody’s Investors Service last rated Ohio with its highest credit rating in 1979.
(COLUMBUS, Ohio)— Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Ohio Office of Budget and Management (OBM) Director Kimberly Murnieks announced today that the credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Service upgraded Ohio’s Issuer Rating to “Aaa” from “Aa1” citing a “continuing trend of very strong financial management, improving reserves and liquidity, low and declining leverage and a state economy that is poised for diversification and growth.”
"Moody’s decision to upgrade Ohio's rating to 'Aaa' is strong external validation that our strategy is delivering results for Ohio," said Governor DeWine. "Ohio is the heart of it all, and I am proud that our record shows we are the best state to live, grow or start a business, and raise a family."
"Ohio’s economy and the state's financial footing are both stronger than ever before and we will keep building on our winning record into the future," said Lt. Governor Husted. "This is the most success that Ohio has achieved in decades and our progress is built on careful, intentional planning that is paying off. This upgrade from Moody’s is more proof that our state is fiscally strong and expertly managed.”
“Under Governor DeWine’s leadership, Ohio continues to build on our record of success," said Director Murnieks. "Our finances are stronger than at any time in history, our economy is surging ahead, and our budget is focused on ensuring that all corners of Ohio grow. We have reduced taxes and invested in results, and our priorities will continue to provide unlimited opportunities for Ohioans – today and for generations in the future.”
Ohio’s “Aaa” long-term Issuer Rating reflects a trend of positive demographics that Moody’s expects “to continue as the announced economic development projects come online over the medium term. The outlook also incorporates the state’s strong financial position, including its purposeful efforts to build reserves and budget conservatively that will support Ohio’s strong credit quality going forward.
The Moody’s “Aaa” credit upgrade comes one year after the organization elevated Ohio’s credit outlook to positive and Fitch Ratings upgraded the State Issuer Default Rating to “AAA.”
Ohio’s “Aaa” rating upgrade comes in connection with the State’s planned issuance of approximately $393 million in General Obligation Refunding Bonds expected to price the week of December 12.
Simultaneously with the change to the State’s issuer rating, Moody’s upgraded the general obligation bonds including the GO highway program to “Aaa” from “Aa1”, lease appropriation debt and certificates of participation (COPs) to “Aa1” from “Aa2”, the Ohio Community and Technical College Credit Enhancement and Ohio School District Credit Enhancement programs to “Aa1” from “Aa2”; and the rating on the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) Federal Grant Anticipation Program's outstanding Major New State Infrastructure Project bonds, also known as GARVEE bonds.