FREDERICTON (GNB) – Standard and Poor’s, a global credit rating agency, announced on Tuesday, June 6, that New Brunswick has maintained an A+ credit rating with a stable outlook, highlighting modest improvements in budgetary performance, a predictable and well-managed institutional framework, and slow but positive economic growth. The province has received an A+ rating from the agency for three consecutive years.

“Your government is focused on growing our economy, and the stable outlook from bond-rating agencies is a clear demonstration that we are on the right track and achieving our goal,” said Finance Minister Cathy Rogers. “We are encouraged by the positive economic trends we are witnessing in New Brunswick as we work towards balancing the budget by 2020-21.”

In March, Moody’s Investors Service affirmed the province’s Aa2 rating with a stable trend. In April, Dominion Bond Rating Service confirmed the A (high) rating with a stable trend.

Standard and Poor’s identified a number of credit strengths for the province including the demonstration of a gradual progress to fiscal balance and the ability to consistently meet financial targets. The agency also noted that New Brunswick witnessed stronger economic growth in 2016.

A report from Statistics Canada also recently reaffirmed the province’s economic performance, marking two consecutive years of growth. Statistics Canada estimates that, in 2016, real gross domestic product for New Brunswick expanded by 1.4 per cent.

“Our government is seeing positive, tangible economic results,” said Rogers. “Our government has a balanced and comprehensive plan to address our fiscal challenges, and we will continue to stay focused on that plan.”

The provincial government committed to a multi-year plan to improve the province’s finances and return to balanced budgets by 2020-21.

Since 2014, the government has cut the province’s deficit in half, and Rogers said is on track to eliminate the deficit by the 2020 budget. The province’s economic growth hit a 10-year high in 2015, with projections of continued growth. In addition, the government supported the creation of almost 10,000 jobs since 2014, while employment has increased by 4,300 so far this year compared to the opening four months of 2016.