New Hanover County has once again received a Triple A bond rating, the highest rating a county can achieve, from both Moody’s Investor Services (Moody’s) and Standard & Poor’s Rating Services (S&P) on its general obligation bonds. This means New Hanover County receives the lowest interest rate possible on debt. The county has been rated Aaa by Moody’s since 2010 and AAA by S&P since 2013.
This affirmation of the county’s credit worthiness is attributed in large part to the County’s “dynamic local economy, strong financial operations with sound reserves, and an elevated but manageable debt burden given adherence to policies.” Moody’s notes the outlook for New Hanover County is stable with an expectation of “continued sound financial performance, conservative budgeting practices and growth within the county’s local tax base.”
These same themes are echoed in the rating given by S&P who discuss their view of the County’s “diverse local economy, serving as a regional hub for the eastern Carolina’s.” Other reason’s cited by S&P for their AAA rating were strong management, strong budgetary performance, very strong budget flexibility, very strong liquidity, adequate debt and contingent liability profile, and a very strong institutional framework.
To be rated triple A by both Moody’s and S&P is rare. Only six other
counties in North Carolina enjoy the ratings, and approximately 80 of the nation’s 3,069 counties. As a double, triple A rated county, New Hanover County is rated in the top three percent of all counties across the country.
*Information above courtesy of New Hanover County