WASHINGTON, Dec 6 (Reuters) - The U.S. municipal bond market shrank in the third quarter of 2012, to $3.719 trillion from $3.732 trillion in the second quarter, the Federal Reserve said on Thursday.
That was still larger than the level of outstanding debt the year before, when the market was $3.708 trillion in the third quarter of 2011, according to the Fed’s quarterly report on fund flows.
Households’ appetite for the bonds sold by states, local governments and other authorities continued to drop off. They shed $245.5 billion bonds in the third quarter and $3.5 billion in the second. Households have cut their holdings in muni debt for six quarters in a row.