For the second year in a row no individual issue or trend was named by over half of analysts as influencing the municipal bond market.
This year the U.S. Federal Reserve’s pace of action (42%) was named as the most important issue or trend influencing the municipal bond market right now.
The top five issues in this years’ survey include: The Fed (42%), Demographic shifts in the U.S. (33%), Political divisiveness (31%), Public pensions (30%), and the Russian invasion of Ukraine (28%).
Last year COVID-19 did not even receive votes from half of analysts. Only 47% of analysts thought COVID-19 was an important issue or trend impacting the market.
In 2020 92% of analysts polled identified COVID-19 as the central issue impacting the market. Before the COVID crisis there was an annual consensus among analysts that public pensions was the leading issue or theme.
Infrastructure (25%) fell out of the top five and was the tenth most important in 2022.
Opinions about both state and local government credit quality remained close to where they were in 2021, most analysts reported credit is Strong and Very strong.
A little over half of analysts (54%) expect that Public Finance sector rating Upgrades will significantly outpace downgrades or Upgrades will outpace downgrades.
Most analysts surveyed (87%) believe remote-work related themes will impact public finance in the medium to long term.
We had 130 municipal bond analysts participate in the survey this year and 62% of those participating are considered buy-side participants.