Tue March 22, 2011
Fitch lowers Providence's bond rating two points
By FLO JONIC
Providence, RI – Concerns over the capital city's financial health have prompted a second national rating service to downgrade the city of Providence's bond rating.
That makes the second time in less than a week that a national rating service has lowered Providence's bond rating. Fitch Ratings downgraded some of the city's general obligation bonds two notches - from an "A" to "AA-". The company said the action was prompted by significant structural deficits, a concern about the city's ability to generate adequate cash flow and near depletion of the city's rainy day fund. Mayor Angel Taveras says he's not surprised.
"We've been very open and transparent with them about the condition of our city and it should not come as a surprise," Taveras said. "We will work very hard to balance our budget and it's going to improve our rating. So we'll get the rating back up but it's going to take a little bit of time."
The move by Fitch comes a few days after Moody's Investor Service dropped the city's bond rating by two notches. Both ratings companies give the city a negative outlook.