DALLAS — The Texas Public Finance Authority plans to issue $45 million of general obligation refunding bonds Dec. 4.

The deal is the first for the agency since Standard & Poor's raised its rating on the state's GO debt to AAA from AA-plus on Sept. 30. The upgrade, affecting $14.5 billion of outstanding Texas GO bonds, brought S&P in line with the triple-A ratings from Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings.

In its report on the upcoming deal, S&P cited the state's robust economy, its strengthening financial posture and low overall net debt and below-average unfunded retirement liabilities.

"Through August 2013, Texas had exceeded its pre-recession peak employment by 596,900 jobs, approximately 5.6% higher," wrote S&P analyst Horacio Aldrete-Sanchez. "By contrast, the nation as a whole has recovered only approximately 78% of the nearly 9 million jobs lost during the recession."

Fitch Ratings pointed out that though state's debt burden is low, the need for capital to meet growth - particularly in transportation - has risen in recent years.

"Finances are generally conservative, though challenges include sustainably addressing long-term growth needs and managing the cyclicality inherent in the state's energy-dominated economy," wrote Fitch analyst Douglas Offerman.

The state's GO debt represents 1.4% of personal income in the state for 2012, according to S&P. The debt includes $9.8 billion in GO bonds supported by tax revenues of the general revenue fund, or mobility fund, and $4 billion in state highway fund bonds backed by dedicated transportation receipts.

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