(Washington, DC) - Today, Moody’s Investors Service affirmed the District of Columbia’s Aaa rating. The Moody’s rating reflects “the District's overall financial, economic and governance strength.” According to Moody’s, “The District's high-wage knowledge and services-based economy will continue to expand and is positioned for future growth because employers are attracted to the District’s highly educated workforce. The District has exemplary fiscal governance. The District has among the lowest pension liabilities of any large city and has prefunded its other postretirement benefits (OPEB) liability, which affords it significant financial flexibility.” Moody’s also stated that the “District of Columbia, the nation's capital, is small but wealthy. Its population is smaller than all but two states, but its per capita income is higher than all 50 states and its GDP is greater than 17 states.”
However, despite this affirmation, Moody’s revised the District’s outlook from stable to negative “following the November 10 revision of the government of the United States of America’s outlook to negative from stable.” Moody’s based the District’s revision on its “economic, financial, capital market and governance linkages to the federal government.”
“The affirmation of the Aaa rating is an indication that the District’s finances remain strong,” said Chief Financial Officer Glen Lee. “The change in outlook has no bearing on the District’s fiscal strength and governance but is solely related to the unique relationship between the federal government and the District. I remain confident in the District’s ability to successfully manage its financial responsibilities.”
The negative outlook would likely remain for the next 12 to 18 months.