According to Bond Buyer, Moody’s noted in a report it has downgraded a record $311 billion of public finance debt in 2012, surpassing the previous 2009 record of $256 billion, a negative trend that the rating agency said is likely to continue this year.

The 2012 downgrades, 824 in total, were a 60% increase over the $194 billion of debt in 518 downgrades the previous year, Moody’s said.

For 2013, we expect downgrades to continue outpacing upgrades in most public finance sub-sectors, albeit at a reduced pace as the economic recovery continues and the housing sector begins to strengthen, said Moody’s assistant vice president Eileen Hawes, lead author of the report.

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