Standard and Poor's Rating Services (S&P) has reaffirmed its AAA/stable credit rating for the Province of B.C. - the highest possible.
The announcement comes shortly after Moody's reaffirmed its rating of Aaa and Dominion Bond Rating Service (DBRS) reaffirmed its rating of AA-High.
These ratings follow the introduction of Budget 2013 and reflect the success of continued adherence to the government's well-structured fiscal plan and support for the goal of balanced budgets.
In affirming the AAA rating, Standard and Poor's cited "strong budgetary flexibility", "a fiscal plan designed to bring the province's operating budget back to balance" and tax rates that are "low compared to those of most other Canadian provinces."
Currently, B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan are the only provinces rated AAA/stable by S&P. B.C. and Alberta are the only provinces rated triple-A with Moody's.
Observations from S&P include:
- "The ratings reflect our view of the province's wealthy economy, strong budgetary flexibility and adequate liquidity. The stable outlook reflects our expectation that B.C.'s economy will continue expanding modestly through 2015."
- "We expect (GDP per capita) to hold fairly steady during our two-year outlook horizon, with B.C.'s shifting trade mix towards Asia offering diversification against potentially weak economic activity in North America."
- "We could revise the outlook to negative or lower the ratings if we came to expect the province's after-capital deficits to continue for an extended period and its tax-supported debt as a share of operating revenues to continue to rise."
Since November 2004 B.C. earned seven successive credit rating upgrades and has committed to balance the budget in 2013-14.
Minister of Finance Michael de Jong -
"Three top level credit ratings coming so soon after Budget 2013 are proof-positive that our goal of balancing the budget has been well received and that our fiscal plan is on course."
"An ongoing commitment to balancing the budget by not spending more than taxpayers send us will help us preserve our triple-A status. This is essential to protect future generations from the high costs of government debt."
"B.C.'s triple-A credit rating saves taxpayers millions of dollars a year in the government's cost of borrowing. Every dollar we don't pay in interest is one we can invest in public services or reduce our borrowing."
Factsheet - April 4, 2013: Moody's reconfirms B.C.'s Aaa rating: http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/ministries/finance/factsheets/factsheet-moodys-reconfirms-bcs-aaa-rating.html
Director of Communications
Ministry of Finance