Wednesday December 14, 2005
--City among nation’s top-rated local governments----S&P forecasts continued economic growth for Louisville--
Citing economic growth and strong management policies, one of the nation’s leading independent credit-rating organizations has raised Louisville Metro Government’s credit rating to AA+. Standard & Poor’s yesterday joined Wall Street credit analyst Fitch Ratings in awarding Louisville the second highest rating available, putting the city among the top-rated local governments in America.
The Standard & Poor’s credit report notes that several recent projects have raised the city’s status as a business hub and service sector for the surrounding area.
“The rating…reflects a deep economic base anchored by United Parcel Service of America Inc., coupled with a strong health services sector and thriving entertainment district, strong financial operations, a comprehensive set of management tools to ensure ongoing stability, and a favorable debt profile,” writes Standard & Poor’s analyst Helen Samuelson.
Government management recognized
The analysts reviewed two years of audited financial statements in determining that “operational efficiencies gained from the consolidation have allowed for positive results,” and that “the merger has allowed for streamlined services and reduced staffing levels, without any reduction in service levels,” according to the report.
Mayor Jerry Abramson said the higher credit rating puts Louisville among elite company, and that higher ratings will allow metro government to issue bonds for new projects and infrastructure improvements at a lower cost in the future.
“This is yet another independent assessment that our merged government is in a strong financial position, and that our community is moving in a sound direction economically,” he said.
Abramson and members of his administration met with Standard & Poor’s analysts in Louisville earlier this year.
Report forecasts continued economic growth The S&P report also projects a favorable economic outlook for Louisville.
“The Louisville economy is on an upswing,” the analysts write, citing growth in the service sector and job growth led by the hospitality and construction sectors. “The stable outlook reflects the expectation of continued economic growth, further diversifying and broadening the local economy,” according to the report.