Credit agency upgrades county rating

National rating agency Standard and Poor's has bumped up Orange County's credit rating, landing it in the "high quality" range, a news release said.

The county's credit rating was raised from AA- to AA, while its outstanding debt rating went from AA- to A+.

According to the agency's analysis, the county's rating probably won't be revisited within the next two years.

"The stable outlook reflects our view of the county's very strong economy and adequate budgetary flexibility, which is supported by very strong management conditions," the report said.

Shawn Nelson, chairman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors, said in a statement that the ratings hike was "welcome acknowledgment" of the county's efforts to reduce its employee pension costs and rein in spending.

"Our financial challenge is serious, but we are managing it," he said.

—Jill Cowan

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