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Credit rater takes brighter view of Mississippi finances

One of the nation’s three main credit rating agencies is feeling a little more confident about Mississippi’s financial picture.

Standard & Poor’s Financial Services on Friday removed its negative outlook on Mississippi’s debt, instead raising the outlook to stable. Mississippi remains rated AA by Standard & Poor’s.

Credit ratings can influence how much the state has to pay in interest on its debt, but the financial advantages of a higher rating has been narrowing recently.

Standard & Poor’s cites improving state revenues, efforts to improve roads and bridges and changes aimed at reducing state employee pension underfunding as reasons for the upgrade.

Mississippi has equivalent ratings from the other two main credit agencies — Fitch and Moody’s. Fitch also views Mississippi’s outlook as stable, while Moody’s retains a negative outlook.

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