Why S&P believes Bethlehem’s a better bet for investors now

Bethlehem’s bond rating jumped a notch to A, a grade city officials hope will reduce the cost of a new borrowing for road, sewer and other projects.

The new rating, which signals to bond buyers the risk of the investment, reflects the city’s “improved budgetary performance” and better management, S&P Global Ratings agency says.

“We believe the city’s structurally balanced operations are a result of sustainable budget adjustments which have restored the available reserves to a strong level,” S&P said in its rationale.

S&P said it has a “positive outlook” for Bethlehem, saying the city has a “one-in-three chance” the rating can be upgraded again over the next two years if it sustains its financial position.