FILE - Welcome to Arizona sign

Welcome to Arizona sign

Arizona’s credit rating got an upgrade this week, a move attributed to the state’s “continued economic growth.”

Moody’s Investors Service on Tuesday upgraded Arizona’s credit score from Aa2 to Aa1, the company’s second highest credit rating.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said the upgrade is “further validation that Arizona is going in the right direction – and that smart policies do matter.”  

“Across our state, these policies are making a difference. Jobs are growing. Our budget is balanced. We are paying down debt,” he said. “Our Rainy Day Fund is the highest it has ever been.”

Moody’s cited a growing economy leading to an increase in reserves as reasons for the credit upgrade, in addition to paying off debt, budget discipline, and below average pension liabilities.

“The upgrade of the issuer rating reflects the state's continued economic growth, the rebuilding of its reserves and the reduction to its already-low debt burden,” Moody’s said.

The company added it expects Arizona’s economy “will continue to perform positively and that the state will maintain ample reserves.”

Arizona added $542 million to its rainy day fund for the 2020 budget, bringing the fund to just over $1 billion in case of an economic downturn.

Ducey in June signed legislation that put $190 million toward paying off the state’s debt, a move his office said will $24 million each year. 

The state has been ranked fourth for most economic momentum, and over 300,000 jobs have been added since 2015. The Phoenix metro area also led the nation in percentage employment increase last year.

Regional Editor

Derek Draplin is a regional editor at The Center Square. He previously worked as an opinion producer at Forbes, and as a reporter at Michigan Capitol Confidential and The Detroit News. He’s also an editor at The Daily Caller.