Muni Minute: Connecticut Conundrum

In the latest installment of Muni Minute – The Bond Buyer's 60-second video series on a top municipal market story of the week ahead – we examine Connecticut's plan to sell a $511 million bond right after a double-barreled credit downgrade.

WEITZMAN: Connecticut is staggering from the one-two punch delivered in the form of downgrades last Thursday by S&P Global ratings and Fitch Ratings. The state is expected to sell $511 million of refunding GO bonds on Tuesday. Both rating agencies said the downgrades reflect a view of reduced budgetary flexibility. Market sources said that a downgrade has been largely discounted by the market, so widening of spreads won't be significant.

Credit spreads are becoming so narrow that a one notch rating differential is not as meaningful as it was a year ago. According to Janney's Daily Fix, Connecticut, the wealthiest state based on per capita income, has had sluggish post-recession economic growth compared with the nation as a whole. The state's debt to personal income ratio is 9% compared to Moody's 50 state median of 2.5%, and unfunded pension liabilities have grown to 213% of annual revenue compared to a 59% median. I'm Allen Weitzman and this had been your Muni Minute.