SAN FRANCISCO, March 19 Moody's Investors
Service upgraded Alameda County, California's issuer rating on
Tuesday by one notch to Aa1 from Aa2, citing the county's strong
finances, reserves and its economic rebound.
"The upgrade reflects the county's exceptionally strong
financial position as it emerges from the recent severe economic
downturn," Moody's said in a statement, noting the county east
of San Francisco "now boasts the strongest reserve position
among the largest and most highly-rated counties in the state."
"Also key to the upgrade is the steady recovery of the
county's economy, as reflected in recent growth trends in jobs
and property tax base, both of which have nearly recovered to
pre-recession levels," Moody's said.
The ratings agency expects the local economy's growth will
outpace the country as a whole so that Alameda County "is likely
to continue to enjoy strong financial operations for the
At the same time, Moody's upgraded the county's
lease-supported obligations to Aa3 from A1 and confirmed
Alameda's outstanding pension obligation bonds at Aa3.
The outlook for the ratings is stable, Moody's said, citing
the county's "overall economic stability and its demonstrated
ability to maintain budgetary balance and comfortable operating
reserves even during a period of economic and financial