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November 24, 2021

S&P upgrades Hartford’s long-term issuer credit rating

HBJ Photo | Joe Cooper Hartford City Hall at 550 Main St.

Financial research and credit rating agency S&P Global Ratings has raised the city of Hartford’s long-term issuer credit rating by two notches, from “BBB” to “BB+,” Mayor Luke Bronin announced this week.

According to the mayor’s office, a report from S&P highlighted Hartford’s “tight expenditure controls” and notes that the “city’s performance and liquidity has improved measurably” since adopting a five-year financial recovery plan in 2018 aimed at keeping the city out of bankruptcy.

At the time, Wall Street credit rating agencies had lowered their assessments of Hartford’s general obligation debt to speculative or “junk” status, and there were concerns that the city could eventually file for bankruptcy.

The S&P report also states that “Hartford has done well navigating the economic challenges and operating disruptions posed by the pandemic and has stuck to its recovery plan.”

“Our team has been disciplined and careful, and we’ve stuck to our long-term fiscal plan,” Bronin said in a statement. “This latest upgrade by S&P reflects how far we’ve come from the full-blown fiscal crisis our team inherited, and it’s a validation of the work we’ve done to budget with rigor and transparency, and with a laser-like focus on Hartford’s long-term strength.”

Hartford Treasurer Adam Cloud said the rating boost should “serve as a signal to the capital markets that Hartford is worthy of investment.”

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