Following decreasing outflows last week, tax-exempt money market funds saw losses grow to $3.88 billion for the week ending Feb. 15 as they finished at $381.56 billion, according to the Money Fund Report, a service of iMoneyNet.com.

Last week, outflows slowed to $2.17 billion and the funds closed at $385.44 billion in total assets, after losing $3.37 billion and settling at $387.6 billion for the week ending Feb. 1.

The average seven-day simple yield for the 497 tax-exempt money market funds that reported this week remained unchanged at 0.02% for the sixth consecutive week, while the average maturity increased by one day to 30 days.

Meanwhile, investors drew $35.78 billion out of taxable money funds, a huge outflow compared to last week's $5.48 billion. The torrent occurred against the backdrop of a record-low average yield that remained at 0.02%, which it fell to last week after previously remaining unchanged at 0.03% since Nov. 24.

Significant mid-month outflows have been a recent trend, mostly among the taxable institutional funds whose cash-flow needs vary from one part of the month or the quarter to another, noted Connie Bugbee, managing editor of the Money Fund Report. For instance, at this time last year taxable funds overall saw outflows totaling $38.66 billion for the week ending Feb. 17. Bugbee said over the last couple of years, outflows have trended higher in the weeks ending closer to mid-month, with inflows arriving toward the latter part of a month.

This week, the strong outflows caused the assets of 1,162 taxable money market funds in the report to settle at $2.742 trillion, compared with $2.777 trillion in total assets for the week ending Feb. 9.

Overall, the combined assets of the 1,659 money funds in the report this week fell by a whopping $39.66 billion, finishing at $3.124 trillion. The outflows are significantly more than last week's losses of $7.65 billion, which caused the funds to settle at $3.163 trillion.

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