Released on September 10, 2020
Saskatchewan continues to maintain its high credit rating following the affirmation by Moody’s Investors Service of its Aaa rating for the province.
“Moody’s has affirmed Saskatchewan’s triple-A credit rating despite the significant fiscal and economic challenges posed by the global COVID-19 pandemic,” Finance Minister Donna Harpauer said. “With this affirmation, Saskatchewan continues to have the second-highest credit rating among Canadian provinces when all three major rating agencies are considered.”
Moody’s noted that Saskatchewan has “ongoing credit strengths including a strong institutional framework and strong debt and treasury management.”
Moody’s also noted that Saskatchewan “has unfettered access to a wide range of revenue measures as well as the ability to alter spending plans relative to other international peers which typically possess less fiscal flexibility.”
The Moody’s release also stated that “despite the rise in debt burden, Saskatchewan will continue to have the second-lowest debt burden among Canadian provinces.”
Moody's did not place Saskatchewan under review for downgrade, but rather changed its rating outlook to negative, reflecting concerns about weakening oil prices and continuing uncertainty stemming from the pandemic.
“We continue to have confidence in our province’s economy and in our government’s fiscal approach during the pandemic,” Harpauer said. “Fiscally, we are moving in the right direction, and Saskatchewan’s economy continues to reopen and recover from the pandemic. Our province has the lowest unemployment rate in Canada, according to the most recent labour force survey, and several other economic indicators, including growth in retail sales, wholesale trade and exports, show that our recovery is on track.”
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