DALLAS - Fitch Ratings cited New Orleans' gradually improving economy in raising the rating on the city's tax-secured general obligation bonds to BBB from BBB-minus yesterday. The move applies to $523.9 million in outstanding GO debt.

Noting that New Orleans still faces years of recovery from the flooding resulting from Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, the report from analysts Steve Murray and Laura Porter said the rebuilding effort "is providing a measurable boost to economic activity during the current recession and will establish a solid foundation for future economic growth."

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