Bond issuance is declining in muniland

June 2, 2014

Thomson Reuters

There has been plenty of analysis about declining muniland bond issuance at the gross level, but very little diving down into more specific monthly data. MSRB’s EMMA platform provides the data for parsing.

When looking at 2011 data it is important to remember that the Build America Bond program expired December 31, 2010 (taxable municipal bonds that carried special tax credits and federal subsidies for either the bond issuer or the bondholder). BABs had drawn a lot of municipal issuance forward into 2010 that might normally have been done in 2011.

The overall number of new bond issues per month has declined for the last three years. Issuers refunding their bonds to get a lower interest rate increased in the first quarter of 2013 and then declined in the first quarter of 2014 (see chart above):


The average dollar size of bond issues appears to be getting slightly larger for most months, but some distortion could come from individual bond issues like the March 2014 $3.5 billion Puerto Rico general obligation bond offering:


The total dollar amount of bonds issued has declined every month:


All market analysts that I have seen predict less than $300 billion of new issuance for 2014. All muniland issuance data points are in decline.

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