DALLAS - New-issue volume in the municipal market fell for the fourth consecutive month in February, as turmoil from the subprime mortgage crisis continued to roil bond insurers and disrupt the auction-rate securities market and other sectors.

With 637 issues totaling $20.1 billion sold last month, volume was down 37% versus February 2007, according to preliminary data from Thomson Financial. That came on the heels of a 37% plunge in January, which sent volume to the lowest monthly production levels since September 2001. The rate of bond insurance penetration fell to 27.05% last month from 56.29% in the same month a year ago, showing how issuers are moving away from using bond insurance at the same levels as in prior years.

Subscribe Now

Independent and authoritative analysis and perspective for the bond buying industry.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.