S&P Global Ratings raised to stable from negative its outlook for New York state's general obligation bonds while affirming the AA+ rating for general obligation debt.
S&P's decision "reflects our view of the state's near-term economic and revenue recovery, receipt of substantial American Rescue Plan federal aid, and an enacted financial plan that reflects improved budget balance and maintains adequate reserve levels," said S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Sussan Corson, in a June 11 news release.
Among the factors contributing to its analysis, S&P Global cited:
- "Well-funded state pension systems."
- "Good financial management including stable reserve levels in proportion to (the) budget."
- A "strong and diverse economy … and income levels above the national average but with a higher than average proportion of state income from the financial sector and outmigration trends."
However, the S&P Global report said certain issues "preclude a higher rating" at this time. They are a large unfunded OPEB liability, "moderately high and growing debt levels," and "exposure to some revenue concentration." OPEB, or other post-employment benefits, primarily encompasses health-care costs.