FAO RELEASES REVIEW OF ONTARIO’S CREDIT RATING
TORONTO, November 16, 2023 – Today, the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario (FAO) released its annual review of the Government of Ontario’s (the Province’s) credit rating. The Province’s debt is rated by four principal international credit rating agencies, based on their assessments of Ontario’s economic and financial outlook, and future risks. These credit ratings represent the agencies’ opinions on the Province’s ability to meet its debt-related financial obligations.
In their recent assessments, all four credit rating agencies reaffirmed the Province’s credit ratings. Based on a standardized scale, Ontario’s debt is rated AA- (fourth highest rating) by DBRS Morningstar, Moody’s and Fitch Ratings, and A+ (fifth highest rating) by S&P Global Ratings. In general, the credit rating agencies continue to rate Ontario as an extremely strong, investment-grade borrower.
In addition, three of the four credit rating agencies revised the Province’s credit rating outlook from stable to positive, reflecting the agencies’ view that Ontario’s fiscal outlook has improved, with a quicker return to balanced budgets and a lower debt burden than previously forecasted. The positive outlook indicates that a credit rating upgrade for the Province within the next two years is likely.
All credit rating agencies indicated that Ontario’s strong credit rating is based on its large and diversified economy, high liquidity and prudent debt management program. As well, Canada’s federal-provincial framework provides provinces with the flexibility to adjust both tax policy and program spending, in addition to predictable revenue from federal transfers. At the same time, the credit rating agencies also identified challenges that negatively impact the Province’s credit rating, including weakening domestic and global macroeconomic conditions, the Province’s elevated debt burden and spending pressures.
To learn more, read the full report here.
- Ontario’s average credit rating ranked sixth highest among the provinces, down from fifth highest since the FAO’s last credit rating report. The average credit ratings for British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Quebec and Nova Scotia ranked higher than Ontario.
- While provinces with higher credit ratings generally have lower borrowing rates, Ontario’s borrowing costs are lower than all provinces other than Quebec and British Columbia.
About the FAO
Under the Financial Accountability Officer Act, 2013, the Officer provides independent analysis on the state of the Province's finances, trends in the provincial economy, and related matters important to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Visit our website and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.