PRESS RELEASES

Pittsburgh Continues to Receive Strong Credit Ratings Due to Financial Practices

PITTSBURGH, PA (October 19, 2021) The Office of Mayor William Peduto and the Office of Management and Budget today released information about the improved strength of the City’s bond credit rating. The City’s fiscal planning and resiliency strategy over the past seven years turned a structurally deficient budget into a model of fiscal strength, including strong credit ratings that allow the City to borrow capital budget funds at a better rate to save taxpayers money.  

“Just like individuals, having a good credit score can help get better rates or higher limits for cities to issue bonds for critical infrastructure improvements,” Mayor Peduto said. “Pittsburgh has worked hard over the past several years to improve its credit ratings and outlooks so that we can continue to put money into reserves, invest in our pension fund and also pursue projects that are important to maintain and support our city and our communities.”  

Mayor Peduto has long lead efforts to improve financial management for the City, including during his time on City Council. His continued advocacy included sponsoring legislation for the City to enter Act 47 state oversight, helping to write all three Act 47 recovery plans and ensuring continued fiscal stability and growth through codifying financial reforms. His legacy of financial vitality practices have ensured the City has avoided financial distress after exiting Act 47 and that the City’s bond credit ratings have strengthened.  

The success of the city’s financial management has been recognized by independent financial rating agencies as the City’s ratings have improved over the past seven years. In 2021, S&P Global Ratings awarded Pittsburgh strong creditworthiness despite the pandemic:  

S&P Credit Rating History 

Issuance/Year 

Credit Rating 

Outlook 

2012 Series A/B 

BBB 

Stable 

Series 2014 

AA 

Stable 

2014 Refunding Series A/B 

A+ 

Stable 

Series 2017 

A+ 

Stable 

Series 2019 

AA- 

Stable 

Series 2020 

AA- 

Stable 

2020 Refunding Series A/B 

AA- 

Stable 

Series 2021 

AA- 

Stable 

Bond rating agencies have praised the City’s management of its budget before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. A credit rating of “A” indicates above-average creditworthiness relative to other U.S. municipal or tax-exempt issuers or issues, while “AA” indicates very strong creditworthiness.  

According to S&P’s quality levels, the City of Pittsburgh was upgraded, and since maintained, from upper medium grade to high quality in 2017, indicating that the financial safeguards and practices implemented by the Peduto Administration improved and have continued to improve the financial strength of the City.  

The ratings provided by Fitch Credit Rating, another independent financial rating agency, reflect the increased strength of the City’s increased creditworthiness, having upgraded the City from an upper medium grade rating to high quality credit rating between 2012 and 2021.  

Fitch Credit Rating History 

Issuance 

Credit Rating 

Outlook 

Series 2012 

Stable 

Series 2020 

AA- 

Positive 

2020 Refunding Series A/B 

AA- 

Negative 

Series 2021 

AA- 

Negative 

 

Though Fitch Credit Rating recognizes the current strength of the City’s credit rating, a negative outlook was issued for 2020 and 2021 as five-year financial forecasts suggest that the financial strains of the pandemic will continue to threaten municipal budgets. Mayor Peduto’s financial planning and City Council’s leadership for American Rescue Plan funding will support the predicted deficits for city services and personnel until 2023. To continue a strong financial position, the City must control spending while also focusing on adding jobs to Pittsburgh’s new economy and growing residents with additional housing stock. Without spending controls and meaningful revenue growth, the City will again find itself in financial hardship.  

The City requires credit reports from two agencies in order to pursue bond issuance. A third independent agency, Moody’s, has consistently issued the City upper medium grade ratings in 2014, 2017 and 2019, but has not issued Pittsburgh a recent credit rating. 

 

Published

10.19.2021

Contacts

Molly Onufer
Communications Director
Mayor's Office
412-579-8534
molly.onufer@pittsburghpa.gov
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