WASHINGTON - Private-activity bond issuance plummeted by more than 51% last year from 2007, as market turmoil hit the sector hard and prevented issuers from being able to put together affordable deals, according to survey results and market participants.

The Council of Development Finance Agencies tomorrow is expected to release the results of an annual survey that shows overall private-activity bond issuance by the 50 states and the District of Columbia dropped by $14.6 billion, or 51.9%, to $13.7 billion in 2008, and fell in six of eight PAB categories.

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