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Moody’s sees improved outlook for toll roads

by Reg Clodfelter

Moody’s Investors Service has raised its outlook on toll roads from negative to stable for the first time since 2009, according to a report released by Moody’s. The change is due to an expected traffic growth on toll roads of 1.5 percent in 2014, which Moody’s believes is a sustainable recovery from the 3 percent decline in toll road traffic in 2009 that caused the company to change its outlook to negative. The projected growth rate is based on year-to-date trends for the 10 largest-grossing U.S. toll roads. Moody’s expects toll road growth rates to continue to trail U.S. GDP growth, which they expect to hover between 2 percent and 3 percent in 2014. The company sees slower-than-GDP growth rates for traffic as a new normal that reflects demographic changes in driving patterns. The strongest growth in the sector has been in states that have experienced strong economic growth rates in general since the recession, especially Texas and Flor

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