Moody’s Investor Services has decided to keep North Dakota’s bond rating at AA-1.
But it's with a negative watch.
"Less than a year ago, Moody's put us on a negative watch," said Office of Management and Budget director Pam Sharp. "That means things aren't going great, so Moody's will look to see if things are getting better."
Sharp said the agency decided not to make a change.
"they're not ready to downgrade us, that's for certain," Sharp said.
Sharp said Moody's is concerned about the state having a "structural imbalance" -- that is, the state has spent some one-time revenue for ongoing expenses. She said balance would be to have ongoing revenue pay all ongoing expenses.
"Moody's thinks we can still get back on track," Sharp said. "The outlook for the 17-19 biennium is better than the 15-17 biennium, so they're just going to watch us and see what happens in another year."
The rating could affect the interest rates the state would have to pay on any bonding projects. Right now, North Dakota has no projects that will be bonded. But Sharp said there's always the possibility the state will again use bonds for brick and mortar projects.