FREDERICTON (GNB) – Two global credit rating agencies have reaffirmed New Brunswick’s stable credit rating trend.

The DBRS Morningstar has maintained New Brunswick’s credit rating at A (high) with a stable outlook, and S&P Global Ratings affirmed New Brunswick’s rating at A+ with a stable outlook.

“I am pleased to see these positive ratings that reflect our efforts in managing responsibly during the pandemic,” said Finance and Treasury Board Minister Ernie Steeves. “This is a testament to the steps our government has taken to position our province to be in a better financial position to manage the effects of COVID-19.”

The agencies have supported a stable rating due to New Brunswick’s strong financial performance throughout the pandemic and have recognized the province as a leader among other jurisdictions across Canada, said Steeves. While economic challenges remain, the agencies are confident that the province will maintain fiscal discipline and will see gross domestic product growth resume this year.

“By making timely, yet difficult decisions, we have balanced the need for immediate financial support with careful management of taxpayer money,” said Steeves. “This approach has placed New Brunswick as a national leader in economic recovery which has been viewed positively by credit rating agencies.”

The DBRS Morningstar noted that due to recent efforts to address fiscal imbalances and slow debt growth, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on provincial finances is expected to be very manageable, an enviable position in comparison with most provincial peers.

The S&P Global Ratings report indicates an expectation that New Brunswick’s economic growth will return to pre-pandemic levels in its short-term outlook but cautions the need for continued fiscal management as longer-term demographic challenges persist.

“Our approach is working and has been recognized by credit agencies,” said Steeves. “We still have work to do as a province to ensure the sustainability of our finances for future generations and we must continue to be responsible with taxpayer money.”

The DBRS Morningstar and S&P Global Ratings are two of three credit rating agencies that rate the province. Moody’s Investors Service, the third rating agency, in 2020 rated the province as Aa2 with a stable trend. Updates from Moody’s for 2021 are expected soon.