The Colorado economy is slowing, but it remains more vigorous than the national average in income, employment, and population trends, according to the latest state review by Standard & Poor’s.

The state has a AA issuer credit rating from Standard & Poor’s, which provides unenhanced AA-minus ratings for Colorado’s certificates of participation and its lease debt.

“Echoing national trends, the Colorado economy has slowed in 2009 with increased job losses, declining retail sales, and housing market softness,” said credit analyst Matthew Reining. “However, the state has stayed on the positive side of most of these trends.”

Reining said Colorado had an unemployment rate of 7.6% in May, compared to the national average of 9.4%. The state is experiencing sharply lower housing starts and construction-related employment, he said, but the Denver metro area is the best performing of 20 metro areas in the May 2009 S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index.

State tax-supported debt, consisting entirely of general fund lease obligations, totals $896 million.

The analysis noted declines in major revenue sources, with general fund collections in fiscal 2009 down by $1 billion, or 13.6%, from fiscal 2008. Drops were seen in individual income taxes, sales and use taxes, and corporate income taxes.

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