Standard & Poor's affirmed its AA rating and stable outlook on Montana's $183 million of general obligation bonds.

"Despite currently softer revenue performance and projections of lower reserve levels, the state is likely to maintain good reserve levels given its history of budgetary conservatism and willingness to make necessary expenditure reductions," said analyst Paul Dyson. "The state's economy has been spared the brunt of the national economic downturn, and sources indicate the state will be one of the first in the U.S. to return to peak employment."

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