Fitch delivers New Jersey’s third major credit rating upgrade this year
Rating Agency Also Maintains the State’s Outlook at Positive
NEW JERSEY – Governor Phil Murphy and State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio praised Tuesday’s decision by Fitch Ratings to upgrade New Jersey’s credit rating on general obligation bonds to “A” from “A-” while also maintaining the state’s outlook at positive.
Since the enactment of the FY2022 State budget last year, New Jersey has received three credit rating upgrades and is currently on positive outlook with S&P, Fitch, and KBRA.
In making their decision today, Fitch noted that, “…the strong fiscal momentum of recent years and consistent policy actions to confront (New Jersey’s) long-term fiscal and liability challenges reflect a notable improvement in budget management.” The agency cited the State’s efforts to prioritize building a sizable fiscal cushion amid robust revenue collections in recent years, while simultaneously addressing debt and pension liabilities.
This is the first time Fitch has upgraded New Jersey since it started rating the State in 1992.
“We’ve made remarkable strides to get our fiscal house in order, from making our full pension payments two years in a row to building a strong, reliable surplus that will help our State weather potential storms,” Murphy said. “There’s no doubt our fiscal position is far stronger than the situation we inherited, and we’re committed to continuing on this path to a more resilient, affordable New Jersey.”
“Today New Jersey finds itself on more solid fiscal footing than we were before the COVID-19 pandemic and many years prior,” Muoio said. “We took advantage of our State’s solid economic recovery to invest in New Jersey’s future, including paying down debt and fulfilling our obligations. We’re proud of this progress, as evidenced by upgrades from three of the major rating agencies.”