S&P upgrades New Orleans' credit rating

S&P upgrades New Orleans' credit rating

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Standard and Poor's Rating Service upgraded its long-term and underlying rating to 'A-' from 'B+++' on the City of New Orleans' general-obligation debt and issued a positive outlook for all ratings. This is the second time S&P has upgraded the City of New Orleans since Mitch Landrieu became mayor in 2010.

Both Moody's and Fitch Ratings also recently revised their outlooks for the City of New Orleans from negative to stable. All three credit ratings agencies have cited the city's expanding economic base and sound fiscal management for the improved ratings and suggested additional rating upgrades are possible.

"This is monumental news for the City of New Orleans and one of the strongest validations yet of the progress we have made in restructuring, rebuilding and reviving the City's finances," Mayor Mitch Landrieu said. "When we took office about five years ago, our administration faced a $97 million budget gap and we immediately got to work turning deficits into surpluses. We cut government spending, reformed contracting and procurement processes and followed strict budgets. Our work isn't done, and we will continue to make substantive, fiscally responsible reforms to improve the City's finances."

The city requested the credit score review as it gets ready to sell $65 million in taxable public improvement bonds scheduled for sale on March 18, 2015.

The city says the sale is the last phase of the City general-obligation bonds authorized by the voters in 2004 as part of an overall $260 million bond program to improve roads and infrastructure in New Orleans.

Copyright 2015 WVUE. All rights reserved.