Standard & Poor's said in a report that a subpar economic recovery — too slow to naturally boost fiscal conditions for most obligors — took its toll across U.S. public finance ratings during the third quarter of 2012.

The report said Standard & Poor's rating actions in the sector tipped into negative territory, reversing the more positive balance of rating actions in the first two quarters.

"Some obligors, having already implemented corrective fiscal measures, are facing a narrowing set of options," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Gabriel Petek. "Many have cut operations and raised revenue where they can," added Petek.

However, rating actions in some subsectors in U.S. public finance, namely, public utilities, transportation and not-for-profit health care, remained positive on balance.

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