Arizona Credit Rating
States sell general obligation or tax revenue bonds to investors to pay for public works projects such as roads, schools and parks. Private, independent credit rating agencies, including Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s, evaluate states’ financial health to determine their ability to repay the principal and interest. They assign a rating to the bonds; the higher the grade, the lower the borrowing cost to taxpayers. The agencies upgrade, downgrade, suspend or withdraw ratings depending on the condition of a state’s economy and how well it is managing its finances. Rating agencies do not necessarily update a state’s credit rating on an annual basis
Standard & Poor’s Rating for the State of Arizona (Current Rating 2018= AA)
2015 = AA 2010 = AA- 2006 = AA
2013 = AA- 2009 = AA- 2005 = AA
2012 = AA- 2008 = AA 2004 = AA
2011 = AA- 2007 = AA 2003 = AA-
Moody’s Rating for the State of Arizona (Current Rating 2019 = Aa1)
Apr 2015 = Aa2 May 2010 = Aa2 Sep 2009 = Aa3
Feb 2012 = Aa3 Apr 2010 = Aa2 Apr 2009 = Aa3
July 2010 = Aa3 Dec 2009 = A1 Dec 2007 = Aa3
Standard & Poor’s Rating Scale
AAA Extremely strong capacity to meet financial commitments. Highest Rating.
AA Very strong capacity to meet financial commitments.
A Strong capacity to meet financial commitments, but somewhat susceptible to adverse economic conditions and changes in circumstances.
BBB Adequate capacity to meet financial commitments, but more subject to adverse economic conditions.
BBB- Considered lowest investment grade by market participants.
BB+ Considered highest speculative grade by market participants.
BB Less vulnerable in the near-term but faces major ongoing uncertainties to adverse business, financial and economic conditions.
B More vulnerable to adverse business, financial and economic conditions but currently has the capacity to meet financial commitments.
CCC Currently vulnerable and dependent on favorable business, financial and economic conditions to meet financial commitments.
CC Currently highly vulnerable.
C Currently highly vulnerable obligations and other defined circumstances.
D Payment default on financial commitments.
Ratings from ‘AA’ to ‘CCC’ may be modified by the addition of a plus (+) or minus (-) sign to show relative standing within the major rating categories.
Moody’s Rating Scale
Aaa Obligations rated Aaa are judged to be of the highest quality, subject to the lowest level of credit risk.
Aa Obligations rated Aa are judged to be of high quality and are subject to very low credit risk.
A Obligations rated A are judged to be upper-medium grade and are subject to low credit risk.
Baa Obligations rated Baa are judged to be medium-grade and subject to moderate credit risk and as such may possess certain speculative characteristics.
Ba Obligations rated Ba are judged to be speculative and are subject to substantial credit risk.
B Obligations rated B are considered speculative and are subject to high credit risk.
Caa Obligations rated Caa are judged to be speculative of poor standing and are subject to very high credit risk.
Ca Obligations rated Ca are highly speculative and are likely in, or very near, default, with some prospect of recovery of principal and interest.
C Obligations rated C are the lowest rated and are typically in default, with little prospect for recovery of principal or interest.
Moody’s appends numerical modifiers 1, 2, and 3 to each generic rating classification from Aa through Caa. The modifier 1 indicates that the obligation ranks in the higher end of its generic rating category; the modifier 2 indicates a mid-range ranking; and the modifier 3 indicates a ranking in the lower end of that generic rating category. Additionally, a “(hyb)” indicator is appended to all ratings of hybrid securities issued by banks, insurers, finance companies, and securities firms.