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CHICAGO (S&P Global Ratings) June 1, 2018--S&P Global Ratings raised its ratings two notches to 'BBB+' from 'BBB-' on debt issued by and on behalf of Wayne Charter County (Wayne County), Mich., reflecting the county's limited-tax general obligation (GO) pledge. The outlook remains positive. "The two-notch upgrade reflects our view of the county's continued maintenance of structurally balanced operations, and that it is well positioned to be able to maintain structural balance even as operating and fixed costs are set to grow in the near term," said S&P Global Ratings credit analyst John Sauter. "We attribute the return to structural balance to substantial cost-cutting measures, mostly stemming from the recent consent agreement and recovery plan, but also to improved fiscal and operational management," said Mr. Sauter. Reductions to health care (current and postemployment) and pensions, combined with increased support from the delinquent tax revolving fund, led to a series of general fund surpluses and helped the county build up its reserves and begin improving its pension funded position. As anticipated, however, expenditure growth is picking up quickly (including new costs coming into the budget) while revenues remain constrained. We feel the county is now moving into a more normal operating environment.