Taking advantage of historically low interest rates and accelerated infrastructure projects, America’s 30 largest cities refinanced $13.9 billion in existing debt in 2012, the largest amount in two decades, a Pew Charitable Trusts report found.

The report, “Understanding the Great Recession’s Impact on City Bond Issuances,” found that for the first time since 1991, issuances of refunding bonds in 2012 accounted for 57% of the total bonds, some $24.5 billion originated by these cities. While the refundings in 2012 were extensive, they imitate the general pattern of previous economic recoveries when cities took advantage of ongoing low interest rates several years post-recession to refinance substantial amounts of existing debt.

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