NEW YORK — Standard & Poor's Rating Services believes that financial management decisions will be a major factor in determining the credit quality of U.S. state and local governments in 2012, according to a report published Wednesday.

The report says this is the case because most governments start the year with far fewer resources than they have in the recent past.

The report also discusses the role that liquidity continues to play in governments' abilities to manage declining revenues and that a greater divergence between strong and weaker credits may emerge in 2012.

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