Moody's Investors Service said it has downgraded the city of Gulfport, Miss.'s underlying general obligation debt rating to A1 from Aa3.

The rating downgrade affects approximately $24.4 million in Moody's rated parity debt.

The bonds are general obligations of the city, secured by an unlimited tax pledge.

The downgrade to A1 reflects the city's large tax base that has experienced fluctuations in recent years, a trend of imbalance in financial operations, a narrow financial reserve position with minimal liquidity. The A1 rating also incorporates a below average socioeconomic profile as well as a minimal debt burden.

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