Moody’s Investors Service has affirmed British Columbia’s Aaa credit rating and stable outlook, thanks to the province’s diverse economy and strong fiscal management, Finance Minister Michael de Jong announced today.
“B.C.’s continued highest rating shows that this province is on the right path," said de Jong. “We are controlling spending, attracting investment and diversifying markets for B.C.’s goods. Those elements will continue to bring the opportunities that create jobs and the continued economic growth that pays for health, education and social programs for British Columbians.”
In affirming the Aaa-stable rating – the highest possible – Moody’s writes: “The Aaa issuer and debt ratings assigned to British Columbia reflect the diverse and relatively strong provincial economy, track record of prudent fiscal management and a high degree of flexibility to accommodate revenue and expenditure pressures. These positive elements helped the province return to balanced budgets faster than most other Canadian provinces following the 2009 recession and the province has posted a plan of continued balanced budgets across its rating horizon.”
The agency highlights British Columbia’s plan for continued balanced budgets and says B.C.’s debt affordability remains manageable. Moody’s also says that: “the large and diverse economy of British Columbia, along with a level of taxation that is at the lower end of Canadian provinces, represents an important credit positive for the Aaa rating.” While Canada typically sees over three-quarters of its exports flow to the U.S., it accounts for only about half of B.C.’s exports – a diversification of sectors and markets that makes B.C.’s economy less vulnerable to any shocks in specific sectors or trading partners.
“B.C. continues to stand out among provinces as an economic leader and an example of prudent fiscal management,” said de Jong. “Our positive standing reflects the disciplined fiscal management British Columbians demand and the solid economic growth that British Columbians have achieved through their enterprising ingenuity.”
Since November 2004, the Province has received seven credit rating upgrades. British Columbia continues to maintain the highest credit rating possible with Moody’s, Standard and Poor’s and Fitch. Standard & Poor’s most recently affirmed its AAA rating in May 2015 following Budget 2015. The Dominion Bond Rating Service affirmed B.C.’s AA (high) credit rating in April 2015 and Fitch affirmed the Province’s AAA rating in April 2015.