Sweden has strong public finances and is one of the few countries that is top rated by all "big three" rating agencies, Standard & Poor´s, Moody´s and Fitch.
Loans to a Swedish county have a low risk profile because local governments cannot be declared bankrupt and cannot cease to exist and because the state bears the overall responsibility for the activity of the local government. Local governments also have a constitutional right to levy income taxes on their citizens.
On April 7, 2017, the international credit rating institute Standard & Poor's confirmed that Stockholm County Council has maintained its long-term and short-term ratings of AA+ and A-1+ and that its outlook is stable.
Standard & Poor's credit rating means that Stockholm County Council continues to have the second highest credit rating in the long term and the highest rating in the short term.
The rating is based, among other things, on the County Council's work of maintaining anticipated budget performance, ensuring positive liquidity and monitoring risks.
Standard & Poor's analysis has taken into account the County Council's increased investments in health care and public transport, which will increase debt in relation to income to a level that is moderate according to international standards.
According to Standard & Poor´s, Stockholm County Council has:
- A dynamic local economy with high income levels and strong population growth.
- Strong financial management that is expected to continue to deliver budgetary performance.
- Good liquidity backup and strong and reliable access to the capital market.
- Increasing liabilities due to high investment levels over the coming years.