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Rating Agencies Upgrade Outlook For Michigan

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LANSING (WWJ/AP) - Two rating agencies have upgraded their outlook for Michigan.

Fitch Ratings on Monday upgraded the state’s general obligation credit rating to AA, the first time Fitch has rated Michigan above AA- since 2007. Standard and Poor’s affirmed its AA- rating but upgraded the state’s credit outlook to “positive” after a similar move was made by Moody’s last week.

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder said positive feedback from rating agencies “sends a clear message that Michigan is on the right track and moving forward.”

Fitch said Michigan’s longstanding prudent fiscal management along with actions taken in recent years leave it better positioned to address future economic and revenue uncertainty. An improved credit rating could let Michigan pay less when borrowing money.

Less than two weeks ago, Snyder, State Treasurer Andy Dillon, and State Budget Director John Nixon met with representatives of the three major rating agencies to discuss how Michigan’s credit profile had improved significantly over the last two years.

“The state budget is now in structural balance and we have a growing budget stabilization fund. We also have reduced the state’s long-term liabilities,” Snyder said in a statement.

“These steps are all positive for our customers, the people of Michigan, and for the state’s long-term fiscal and economic health. The actions by the rating agencies reflect the solid progress that we’ve made over the past two years,” he continued.

TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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