Fitch upgrades Illinois’ credit outlook to ‘positive’

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By PETER HANCOCK
Capitol News Illinois

SPRINGFIELD – Fitch Ratings, one of three credit rating agencies that grade Illinois bonds, has upgraded its credit outlook for the state from “negative” to “positive.”

Although the state’s overall rating remains at near-junk status at BBB-, the agency said the state’s economic outlook coming out of the pandemic, combined with the recently-enacted budget, are moving the state in the right direction.

“The Outlook Revision to Positive from Negative, reflects Illinois’ preservation of fiscal resilience given the quick and sustained economic recovery since the start of the pandemic, coupled with the state’s unwinding of certain nonrecurring fiscal measures,” the agency said in a statement Wednesday. “Recent fiscal results and the enacted fiscal 2022 budget suggest further improvements in operating performance and structural balance in the near and medium-term that could support a return to the pre-pandemic rating or higher.”

The change in outlook is not the same as a change in the state’s immediate credit worthiness, but instead reflects the agency’s view of its credit trajectory, indicating the possibility of a credit upgrade in the future.

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