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Submitted by Cacky Catlett on Fri, 08/05/2011 - 8:27pm.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- A bond rating agency has told five of North Carolina's biggest counties and two of its larger cities that they retained their good credit rating but their outlook is negative. Moody's Investors Service confirmed the AAA ratings of Winston-Salem and Greensboro and Durham, Guilford, Mecklenburg, New Hanover and Wake counties, but said their debt had a negative outlook. The local governments were among five states and hundreds of communities whose finances were indirectly linked to the U.S. government. The governments were removed from a watch list for possible downgrade with the threat of Washington's default averted. Moody's says it will review the prospects of each borrower in the weeks ahead and report a stable outlook for municipalities that show credit strong enough to withstand a downgrade of U.S. government debt. (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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