Canada's long-term financial profile seen consistent with AAA rating: S&P

FILE PHOTO: The 2019 Chrysler Pacifica minivans move down the assembly line the FCA Windsor Assembly plant in Windsor, Ontario, Canada October 5, 2018. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s long-term financial and economic profile is expected to remain consistent with its current AAA rating, Standard & Poor’s said on Friday, just two days after Ottawa forecast its largest budget deficit since World War Two.

Canada’s budget deficit is forecast to hit C$343.2 billion amid record emergency aid spending in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Canada’s finance department said on Wednesday.

“We expect an improvement in economic outcomes starting next year, as GDP growth resumes and the federal government unwinds its extraordinary stimulus measures,” Joydeep Mukherji, sector lead, sovereign ratings for the Americas at S&P Global Ratings, said in a statement to Reuters.

“In our base case for the trajectory of both GDP growth and fiscal policies, we expect Canada’s long-term financial and economic profile to remain consistent with its current rating,” Mukherji added.

Moody’s and DBRS still give Canadian debt the highest rating but Fitch last month downgraded the country’s debt for the first time, expecting much higher public debt ratios.

Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Sandra Maler and Will Dunham