Province’s credit outlook upgraded from stable to positive03 August 2022
FREDERICTON (GNB) – Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded New Brunswick’s credit outlook from stable to positive and reaffirmed its credit rating at Aa2.
In their latest reports, DBRS Morningstar and S&P Global Ratings reconfirmed their ratings at A(high) and A+ respectively, with stable outlooks.
“I am thrilled to see these encouraging credit ratings,” said Finance and Treasury Board Minister Ernie Steeves. “These positive credit ratings help to manage our debt service costs and demonstrate our sound fiscal management over the past number of years and our commitment to get our province in a solid position financially.”
Steeves noted that New Brunswick has been recognized as a leader among provincial peers during the pandemic.
“By managing our finances responsibly, the cost of servicing our debt is lower than it otherwise would have been,” said Steeves. “This allows for more money to be invested in services for our people. We are spending record amounts on health care, and we have made major investments in affordable housing and in the Emergency Fuel and Food Benefit to provide financial relief due to the rising cost of living.”
Moody’s noted the province’s prudent debt management practices, strong levels of liquidity and a forecast path to balanced budgets as credit strengths. They also observed the province’s strong fiscal management as a key factor.
DBRS Morningstar noted that the province’s credit profile appears to have stabilized relatively quickly compared with many other provincial peers due to efforts to address fiscal imbalances and slow debt growth. They also indicated that, despite global unrest and the associated economic uncertainty, the province has used realistic forecast assumptions, has a recent track record of outperformance, has strength in economies of key trading partners, and has experienced population growth, which will bring stability to the credit profile.
S&P Global Ratings expects the government will continue to demonstrate solid revenue and expenditure management with a focus on maintaining fiscal sustainability.
“Throughout the past four years, our government has taken intentional steps to address our economic and fiscal issues,” said Steeves. “We will continue to manage the province’s finances responsibly while making necessary investments to improve the lives of New Brunswickers.”
Moody’s Investors Service, DBRS Morningstar and S&P Global Ratings are the three credit rating agencies that rate the province.03-08-22