Dominion Bond Rating Service (DBRS) has confirmed British Columbia’s AA (high) credit rating, thanks to the Province’s strong fiscal discipline and stable economic growth, Finance Minister Michael de Jong announced today.
DBRS notes the positive impact of B.C.’s concerted efforts to eliminate the operating debt saying that: “The debt-to-GDP ratio is expected to decline slightly to 17.7% by the end of the fiscal planning horizon (2019-20)… will leave British Columbia with the lowest debt burden among all provinces, following more substantive debt increases in neighbouring provinces.”
DBRS also says: “The stable trends are supported by British Columbia’s strong fiscal performance and a stable economic backdrop that continue to point to declining debt-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio.”
They continue: “British Columbia is once again expected to be among the provincial economic growth leaders with real GDP projected to grow by 2.1% in both 2017 and 2018 – roughly in line with the current private-sector consensus tracked by DBRS. While activity in the housing market is showing signs of slowing, a growing population and strong labour market are expected to support consumer spending while a low Canadian dollar and steady U.S. growth should provide strength to exports.”
B.C. has been rated AA (high) with DBRS since May 2007, when the government was upgraded from AA.
Since November 2004, the Province has received seven credit rating upgrades. B.C. is the only province rated triple-A with all three international credit rating agencies: Moody’s, Standard & Poor's, and Fitch.
Minister of Finance Michael de Jong –
“Our strong credit rating reflects the choices we have made to consistently balance the budget while working to diversify our economy and making investments in priority areas. We will continue to exercise fiscal discipline, while at the same time cutting costs for middle-class B.C. families, investing in priority programs and services, and promoting our competitive, job-creating provincial economy.”
The DBRS report is available at: http://www.dbrs.com/research/307976