TEXT - Fitch comments on New Orleans seven years after Katrina

Mon Dec 17, 2012 2:12pm EST

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Dec 17 - The pace of recovery in New Orleans suggests that while significant gains have been made since Hurricane Katrina, major challenges remain regarding infrastructure, financial condition, education, and healthcare, according to a new Fitch Ratings report.

'New Orleans' expanding tourism sector, increasing port activity and a steadily growing population all contribute to a strengthening economic profile that has resulted in the city receiving affirmative recognition in recent months for its business climate,' said Steve Murray, senior director at Fitch.

'Much remains to be done regarding infrastructure improvements, and the affordability of these projects will be an ongoing challenge. Education and the city's chronically high violent crime levels are also obstacles.'

The ability of the current administration and other local agencies to earn and maintain public support for the various necessary initiatives will be critical to keeping recently gained positive momentum.

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