Moody's Investors Service yesterday lowered Utica, N.Y.'s credit rating to its speculative-grade category, citing budget problems that have dogged the city for the last two years.

After a general review of the city's fiscal condition, the rating agency cut Utica's general obligation bond rating to Ba from Baa. The decision affects about $28 million of outstanding GO bonds. The downgrade does not affect $17.4 million of outstanding bond anticipation notes.

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