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Standard & Poor's upgrades NY bond ratings

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- Standard & Poor's has raised its ratings of New York's general obligation and appropriation-backed bonds.
  
Credit analyst David Hitchcock says the upgrade is based on improved budget management and spending restraint with relatively modest projected budget gaps for future years.
  
S&P is raising the rating of the general obligation bonds to AA from AA.
   It is raising the appropriation-backed bonds' rating from AA- to AA.
  
That follows recent ratings upgrades of the state's bonds by Fitch and Moody's Investors Service.
  
S&P also cites New York's "strong and diverse economy of 19.7 million people, with income levels above the national average, but with a higher-than-average proportion of state income derived from the financial sector."
  
It notes offsetting factors including "significant post retirement liabilities and the volatility of state revenues."
 
AP-WF-07-24-14 0708GMT