Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned its 'AA-' rating to Duluth, Minn.'s GO street improvement and tax abatement bonds, series 2005D-E, and affirmed its 'AA-' rating on the city's outstanding debt. The rating reflects the following credit factors: The city's role as a regional economic center, which is supported by health care, aircraft manufacturing and maintenance, port activity, and tourism; A healthy local economy that continues to expand, as demonstrated by ongoing diversification, as well as a strong tax base growth; The maintenance of a stable financial position despite growth pressures; The maintenance of below-average unemployment rates during the economic slowdown of the past several years and a decrease in seasonal employment cyclicality due to diversification; and Well-managed capital needs...
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