Moody's Investors Service, one of the nation's top bond credit agencies, has upgraded Arizona's credit outlook from "negative" to "stable." This rating improvement arrives on the heels of Standard & Poor's announcement late last year, when the credit ratings service similarly upgraded the outlook for the state's fiscal condition, certificates of participation and lease revenue debt.
Moody's attributes its outlook revision primarily to "significant improvement" in the state's budget and overall liquidity. Moody's report denotes the following as Arizona's greatest financial strengths:
* Significant improvement in the state's overall liquidity;
* Stabilization of the state's budget position, including projected surpluses for fiscal years 2012 and 2013;
* Pension funding ratios above the median of other states.
Recently-released numbers show that, over the 12-month period between December 2010 and December 2011, Arizona's job growth ranked 11th best in the nation. The state's unemployment rate is the lowest it has been since February 2009.