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South Dakota Maintains Highest Ratings with Moody’s and S&P

Office of Gov. Dennis Daugaard

500 E. Capitol Ave.


(605) 773-3212






FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Wednesday, November 22, 2018

CONTACT:  Tony Venhuizen or Bailey Carlsen at 605-773-3212



South Dakota Maintains Highest Ratings with Moody’s and S&P


PIERRE, S.D. – Today, Standard & Poor Global announced it has reaffirmed South Dakota’s AAA Issuer Credit Rating with a stable outlook.


"This is the highest credit rating a state can obtain.” said Gov. Daugaard. “By sticking to conservative budget practices and keeping our reserves at 10 percent of our annual budget, South Dakota continues to benefit from the highest rating possible. We’ve worked hard to place our state on a firm financial footing, and that stewardship has paid dividends.”


In the report, S&P reflects on the state’s expanding and diverse economy, strong revenue and economic trends, well-funded pension system, low debt, strong level of reserve funds, and a conservative and balanced budget requirement as key reasons for reaffirming the state’s AAA rating. The state general fund budget for fiscal year 2018 ended with a $16.9 million surplus, from both lower expenditures and higher revenues than budgeted. S&P has reported a stable outlook for the state due to structural budgetary alignment and stable economic metrics.


S&P has awarded the state a AAA rating since 2015.


Last week Moody’s Investors Service announced South Dakota will maintain its AAA Issuer Rating with a stable outlook.


“This type of rating demonstrates our state’s exceptional credit worthiness to financial markets, and leads to substantial savings in future interest payments,” Gov. Daugaard said.


Credit ratings give potential bond purchasers a measurement of state performance and credit worthiness. Upgrades typically allow issued bonds to carry a lower interest rate, providing interest savings to issuers as well as the State of South Dakota and taxpayers.