BOND RATING MEETINGS PROVIDE OPPORTUNITY TO EMPHASIZE COMMITMENT TO FISCAL DISCIPLINE
WINNIPEG – Meetings with international bond rating agencies Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s next week in New York will provide the City of Winnipeg with an opportunity to underscore an ongoing commitment to fiscal discipline Mayor Brian Bowman and Councillor Scott Gillingham (St. James), Chair of the Standing Policy Committee on Finance announced today.
Mayor Bowman and Councillor Gillingham will be in New York from September 29 until October 4. Joining them on the trip will be Michael Ruta, Interim Chief Administrative Officer.
“These annual meetings with international bond rating agencies are important,” said Mayor Brian Bowman. “They are an opportunity to emphasize our commitment to fiscal discipline and balance. It’s also an opportunity to highlight the strengths of our city’s diversified economy as well as steady and strong population growth forecasted over the next several years.”
At the end of July, Moody’s Investor Service affirmed their Aa2 credit rating for the City of Winnipeg.
In their credit opinion, Moody’s singled out the City of Winnipeg’s strong governance and management structure, its disciplined approach to fiscal planning, as well as the City’s ability to post operating surpluses despite funding pressures as key credit strengths for the City. Moody’s also highlighted the affordability of City of Winnipeg debt even as debt levels are expected to increase to support infrastructure renewal and investment.
“These meetings are opportunities to emphasize our ongoing commitment to prudent and responsible budgeting,” said Councillor Scott Gillingham. “This year, as well, we are moving forward with preparing the City of Winnipeg’s first multiyear budget which will further underscore our commitment to fiscal discipline by demonstrating our resolve to balance our budget over multiple years rather than just a single year.”
Winnipeg’s population over the next 25 years is estimated to grow, on average, by 8,200 people per year. This steady and strong population growth is forecasted to keep Winnipeg on track toward a population of one million people, driven primarily by immigration.
Winnipeg is forecasted to maintain strong real GDP growth. Over the last twenty years, Winnipeg’s real GDP expanded by 2.3 per cent per year on average. In 2018, Winnipeg posted the second strongest real GDP growth at 3.7 per cent out of the 13 largest Canadian cities, second only to Montréal. The Conference Board of Canada forecasts that Winnipeg’s real GDP will continue to grow at an average of 1.9 per cent over the next five years.
Existing credit ratings for the City of Winnipeg from Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s are AA and Aa2 respectively.