Rating revisions: Upgrades top downgrades for fourth straight year in 2018

Source: Susanne Siebel, Florence Zeman, Gail Sussman, Leonard Jones, Alexandra S. Parker, Naomi Richman, Timothy Blake, Lisa Goldstein, Susan I Fitzgerald, Kendra M. Smith, Kurt Krummenacker, Michael Mulvaney, Moody’s, Sector In-Depth, March 8, 2019
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The number of upgrades outpaced downgrades for the fourth year in a row in 2018,continuing a trend of improving credit quality across public finance. Additionally, the $99.4billion in upgraded debt (or par value) widely outpaced the $42.0 billion in downgraded debt,a reversal from 2017 when action on major issuers such as Illinois (Baa3 stable) and Puerto Rico (Ca negative) contributed to a wide lead for downgraded debt. The fourth quarter in2018 was similar to the full year as the number of upgrades widely outpaced downgrades and upgraded debt ($22.2 billion) topped downgraded debt ($15.8 billion), led by a $6.1billion upgrade on the city entity that owns and operates Los Angeles International Airport(LAX, Aa2 stable)….