New-issue volume in the municipal market for March was the third-busiest on record, giving a glimpse of a market starting to thaw from the deep freeze seen earlier this year.

With 791 issues totaling $39 billion last month, volume fell just 12% from last year's $44.3 billion, according to preliminary data from Thomson Financial. Though the volume was still down from last year's total, it was an improvement over February, when $21.5 billion of deals represented a 33% decline from February 2007.

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