Moody’s Investors Service reaffirmed the City of Long Beach’s bond rating and “stable” financial outlook, according to a statement the Manhattan-based ratings agency released Tuesday.
“The stable outlook reflects improved fiscal controls and policies implemented by a new management team beginning January 2012,” Moody’s said in the Dec. 3 statement. “As a result of these new policies, management has improved budgeting practices which led to the declines in recent years.”
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In late 2011, when the city announced what would turn out to be a $10 million deficit, Moody’s downgraded the city’s finances to a Baa3 rating, which is one step above junk-bond status. After a new administration instituted new financial measures and controls in 2012 and 2013, Moody’s in August affirmed the city’s outlook from “negative” to “stable.” Days later the City Council voted to remove a “fiscal crisis” designation the municipality declared in February 2012.
Moody’s on Tuesday cited among the actions Long Beach could take to improve its rating a “continued ability to access the capital markets for additional cash flow note,” while the municipality could bring its rating down, in part, through “prolonged or more severe effects on revenues or tax base loss from Hurricane Sandy beyond what is currently anticipated,” the agency noted.