Maybe Philly Isn’t Going Bankrupt After All: City’s Bond Rating Raised

Back in April, when City Hall had a bunch of bond rating agencies in for secret meetings, some observers took it as a sign that the city’s bankruptcy was imminent. Apparently not. Philadelphia Business Journal reports that Standard & Poor’s Rating Service has upgraded Philadelphia’s bond rating.

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services raised the City of Philadelphia’s long-term and underlying rating on the City’s general obligation (GO) debt to A-. It’s the first time since 1979 that the city has been rated A- by S&P.

“This rating upgrade is a true testament and validation of our Administration’s commitment to fiscal integrity and the crucial management of our City’s finances,” said Mayor Michael Nutter. “The City and our citizens will benefit from this upgrade and we should all be proud of this designation.”

In the S&P release, issued Friday, the rating agency noted, “The upgrade reflects Standard & Poor’s assessment of the city’s progress in restoring its general fund balance through cost containment as well as stronger revenue streams.”

The good and bad news? This means Philadelphia can borrow money more cheaply. Make of that what you will.