WASHINGTON — More than three-quarters of U.S. public finance rating changes made by Moody’s Investors Service in the third quarter of 2013 were downgrades, reflecting concentrated credit pressures in some areas of the country even as economic recovery is seen on a larger scale.
Of the 235 third-quarter rating changes, 182, or 77%, were downgrades, the rating agency said in a report Monday. In the second quarter, 83% of rating changes were downgrades, Moody’s said. During the third quarter, $53.9 billion of debt was downgraded and roughly $8 billion was upgraded. Moody’s predicts that downgrades will continue to outpace upgrades through the end of the year.