Moody's reaffirms Canada's triple-A rating

Bond rating agency Moody's Investor Services is renewing Canada's debt rating at triple-A, the highest possible.
Moody's cited deficit-cutting efforts by the federal and provincial governments for reaffirming Canada's top, triple-A debt rating. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

Bond rating agency Moody's Investor Services is maintaining Canada's debt rating at triple-A, the highest possible.

The firm said Thursday the AAA rating was warranted, citing among other things, the country's "high degree of economic resiliency" and deficit-cutting efforts by the federal and provincial governments.

It based its assumption about resiliency on Canada's "high per capita income, the large scale of the economy and its diversity, including natural resource industries and a competitive manufacturing sector, as well as a well-developed and well-regulated financial market."

Moody's said there are risks posed by Canada's housing market — where many mortgages are insured by the federal Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation —  and Quebec's sovereignty issues, but it rated those as low.

Moody's considered a major downturn of the housing market unlikely and, even in an extreme case, Ottawa's extra costs would be relatively small.

Similarly, Quebec's sovereignty movement doesn't seem to pose a significant risk since the issue doesn't appear high on the political agenda.

Some market watchers have warned that the U.S. is in danger of losing its triple-A rating, especially if the current debt ceiling talks fail to make a significant dent in the deficit.

With files from The Canadian Press