Province’s debt rating reaffirmed as stable
A third bond rating agency has reaffirmed the province’s debt rating as stable, again demonstrating government’s sound management of taxpayers’ dollars.
Standard and Poor's (S&P Global) has joined Moody’s and DBRS in forecasting a stable outlook for the economy. The agency said that over the next two years the economy will experience stable growth, helping to sustain budget surpluses and reduce the need for borrowing.
“Our efforts to balance the budget and grow the economy are paying off,” Finance Minister Allen Roach said. ”As the bond rating agencies have all noted, Prince Edward Island is meeting its targets and managing taxpayers’ dollars responsibly.”
S&P Global said it expects the budget to return to fiscal balance in 2018 and its debt levels to moderate in the next two years.
“We expect PEI to meet its target for achieving a balanced budget in fiscal 2018, and that it will remain in a surplus position for the following two years included in its medium-term outlook,” S&P’s report said. It expects to see continued spending pressure in a number of key areas, including health and education.
Countering this, adds the report, is the recent uptick in international immigration which will expand the labour force, consumer spending, and the economy as a whole.
Prince Edward Island is the only jurisdiction in Canada to show continuous economic growth since 2008 and it leads Atlantic Canada in population growth. In addition:
- housing starts year-to-date are up by 20 per cent over the previous year;
- the growth in building permits is three times the national average;
- export growth leads the Atlantic region and ranked third in Canada in 2016;
- international exports are up this year by 7.1 per cent;
- manufacturing growth exceeds the national average and has led Canada over the past five years; and
- employment growth is double the national average.