ST. GEORGE – Utah received a AAA bond rating from the two rating agencies to review the Beehive State this year, Gov. Gary R. Herbert and State Treasurer David Damchen announced Tuesday, affirming Utah’s strong state economy and prudent fiscal management. Utah is one of only nine states to maintain the rating by all three rating agencies.
“Utah’s conservative fiscal principles and debt management practices continue to provide the state with the highest credit ratings available,” Gov. Herbert said. “This demonstrates the state’s ability to do what many others have failed to accomplish: manage money wisely.”
Utah is one of only nine states to maintain a Triple-A bond rating — the highest possible rating — from all three rating agencies, according to the governor’s office.
The Beehive State also continues to be less reliant on federal dollars than its peers.
“Currently, the state has the lowest total federal spending of any state when measured on a per-capita basis,” Gov. Herbert’s Office said in a media statement Friday, “and the seventh-lowest total federal spending relative to gross domestic product.”
The governor’s 2017 fiscal year budget also proposed to pay off $350 million in existing debt, bringing the total debt paid off by the state over the past five years to nearly $1.5 billion. In addition, Utah’s Rainy Day fund has now reached $528 million, the highest amount in the state’s history.
“We preserve our top-tier ratings by continually refining our game,” Damschen said. “I commend Gov. Herbert and the Legislature for implementing the budget stress test analysis last year. The practice was well-received by the rating agencies, and is yet another example of Utah leading nationally with a prudent process.”
According to the governor’s office, due to the prudent fiscal practices used to manage the state, Utah enjoys broad economic success, including:
- For eight consecutive months in 2015, Utah posted the highest job growth rate in the country
- Utah has the 3rd most diverse economy in the nation
- In an economic study released last fall, Utah was named the most fundamentally sound state in the U.S.
- Utah’s Rainy Day Fund now has $528 million
Utah’s continuous history of AAA bond ratings dates back to 1965 when Standard & Poor’s initiated its rating system, according to the governor’s office. The State’s AAA rating with Moody’s dates back to 1973, and with Fitch Ratings back to 1992.
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.