(The Center Square) – Florida came in 10th highest in a new ranking of states’ credit outlooks by municipal bond manager Conning Investment Products Inc., which downgraded its overall assessment from stable to negative.
Florida received a “raw score” of 18.98 in the Conning study, which has lowered its assessment of the states’ credit quality because of the effect of the coronavirus pandemic. The state was ranked fourth for its tax climate and 12th for economic debt and personal income.
Slumping oil prices and a decline in equity markets have also led to concerns in many states about reductions in tax collections, the analysis states. Ramped-up expenditures to fight COVID-19 also have added to states’ financial stress, according to the study.
Conning expects states’ municipal bond outlooks over the next year will worsen, even with the federal government’s efforts to provide coronavirus relief funding. But states’ credit performances will vary since many states are in better economic shape than others, according to the analysis.
The company, which manages more than $9 billion in municipal bonds for its clients, regularly ranks the states’ credit quality based on numerous economic metrics, including pension funding concerns.
Ranking of States’ Municipal Bond Markets
|State||Raw Score||Overall Rank||Tax Climate Rank||Economic Debt / Personal Income Rank|
Source: Conning Investment Products Inc.