Newfoundland and Labrador has received a stable rating from Dominion Bond Rating Service (DBRS) in its most recent report.
In confirming the province’s A and R-1 (low) stable trend status, DBRS highlighted the government’s “prudent fiscal management” as playing a role in the province’s performance. It also noted that while spending has increased, it has not outstripped revenue growth.
“This is just the latest confirmation that we are responsible stewards of the province’s finances,” said Tom Marshall, minister of finance and president of Treasury Board. “Our efforts to rein in debt while continuing to strengthen the province’s programs, infrastructure and services are paying off,” he said. “We also recognize the challenges that were mentioned in the report, including the need for restraint when it comes to expenditures. That is why we are undertaking measures to review spending and implement savings where possible.”
While acknowledging that the province has forecast deficits for the next two years, DBRS cautions that spending restraint will be necessary for the province to achieve its goal of returning to surplus position by 2014-15.
In discussing Muskrat Falls, the DBRS report said the long-term benefits of the project are substantial and it should be of economic benefit to the province especially as it relates to diversifying the economy.
“Economic diversification is a difficult task but it is one that this government has been focused on since coming to office,” said Marshall. “We are seeing great advancements in areas such as aquaculture and ocean technology but of course there is much more to accomplish. Developing projects like Muskrat Falls and eventually the entire Lower Churchill will play a significant role in making this province into an energy warehouse and will benefit Newfoundlanders and Labradorians now and into the future.”
The complete DBRS report can be found online at www.dbrs.com.