Bloomberg News

Ontario’s Rating Outlook Dropped to Negative by Moody’s

December 15, 2011

(Adds comment from Moody’s in the fourth paragraph.)

Dec. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Ontario’s rating outlook was cut to negative from stable by Moody’s Investors Service on concern Canada’s most populous province faces a higher risk in meeting fiscal targets given a recent slowdown in economic growth.

The province’s C$190 billion ($183.6 billion) of debt maintains its Aa1 rating, Moody’s said in a statement today.

The province in November revised its forecasts down for provincial growth in 2011 and 2012 to 1.8 percent and 1.8 percent, from 2.4 percent and 2.7 percent, Moody’s said. The provincial economy is affected by the moderation in U.S. growth, given its higher export share relative to other Canadian provinces and the estimated 80 percent of international exports destined for the nation’s largest trading partner.

“The negative outlook on the province reflects the softening economic outlook, Ontario’s growing debt burden, and the extended timeframe to achieving a balanced budget,” Moody’s Assistant Vice President Jennifer Wong, lead analyst for the Province of Ontario, said in the statement.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Dave Liedtka at dliedtka@bloomberg.net


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