Municipal bond defaults have increased in number since the start of the financial crisis, but remain extremely infrequent, says Moody's Investors Service in its annual report "US Municipal Bond Defaults and Recoveries, 1970-2012."

In the period from 1970-2007, defaults of Moody's-rated credits averaged 1.3 per year. For the 2008-12 period, however, following five new defaults in 2012, the average rose to 4.6 defaults per year.

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