May 12, 2014
(News Release) VICTORIA — British Columbia’s credit rating has been affirmed at AAA by Moody’s Investors Service, with the agency saying it reflects the strong fiscal flexibility of the province and its track record of prudent fiscal management, Minister of Finance Michael de Jong announced today.
The agency highlights B.C.’s debt management and asserts, “Strong fiscal management and performance in recent years enabled British Columbia to reduce its debt burden to a level that is below the median of Canadian provinces, supporting an even higher degree of fiscal flexibility than most provinces.” Furthermore, the report says Moody’s expects the Province’s debt burden to remain affordable.
Moody’s points out that B.C.’s export markets are more diversified than other provinces, and Canada as a whole, saying, “This wider diversification of markets reduces the vulnerability of the provincial economy from shocks in its export markets.”
Strengths Moody’s lists for the B.C. outlook are a track record of prudent fiscal planning, considerable fiscal policy flexibility to adjust revenues and expenses to meet fiscal challenges, and a large and diversified economy supporting a productive tax base. Moody’s notes the Province uses economic growth forecasts that are below private sector estimates, saying, “British Columbia incorporates several prudent measures in its annual budget to minimize the impacts of potential downward pressures.”
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 April 2013 following Budget 2013. The Dominion Bond Rating Service affirmed B.C.’s AA (high) credit rating in April 2014 and Fitch affirmed the Province’s AAA rating in April 2014.