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The city of San Diego has received a boost in its credit rating from Fitch Ratings, according to the Mayor’s Office.

The ratings agency will bump the city’s credit rating on general obligation bonds from BBB+ to A+. Before its financial meltdown in 2004, the city’s rating was the highest it could be at AAA+, but it severely eroded over time and was even suspended by one ratings agency. It has been unable to borrow money in the public markets since fall 2004 because of a financial scandal and the accompanying credit problems.

The increased credit rating means the city could be eligible for better interest rates when it returns to Wall Street. Rachel Laing, a spokeswoman for the mayor, said it’s also “more proof that we’re climbing out of the hole with the financial markets.”

The Mayor’s Office this morning sent out a vague press release stating that the mayor would be making an announcement regarding an “important development” regarding the city’s financial status.

With the city forced to scale back its operations in the face of a $43 million midyear budget gap and even larger budget deficits looming, the vague release sent the imagination of the voiceofsandiego.org staff wild about what possibly could be announced. Turns out it was the credit rating boost.

ANDREW DONOHUE

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