MSRB Publishes First Quarter 2015 Municipal Market Statistics

Date: May 19, 2015

Contact: Jennifer A. Galloway, Chief Communications Officer
             (703) 797-6600


Alexandria, VA – The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) today released municipal market statistics for the first quarter of 2015, showing a sharp decline in trading compared to a year earlier. Municipal securities trading volume fell 13 percent in the first quarter of 2015 to $618.5 billion, down from $709.8 billion in the first quarter a year ago. Historically, first quarter municipal trading volume has declined an average of 12.4 percent annually since 2008.  

The MSRB, which regulates the municipal market, is the official source of municipal market trading and disclosure data, and operates the free Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website that disseminates the information in real time. The website also houses aggregate trading, disclosure and new issuance data.

Other first quarter 2015 municipal securities trading highlights:

  • A total of 2.24 million municipal trades occurred in the first quarter, 6 percent less than the 2.39 million that changed hands in the first quarter of 2014.
  • Trading of fixed rate municipal bonds represented 68 percent of the total par traded in the first quarter of 2015 compared to 57 percent a year ago.
  • The number of interest rate resets on municipal variable rate demand obligations (VRDO) set a new low of 133,896 in the first quarter of 2015, the lowest quarterly number since the MSRB began collecting VRDO reset information in April 2009.                      

The MSRB’s quarterly statistical summaries include aggregate market information for different types of municipal issues and trades, and the number of interest rate resets for variable rate demand obligations and auction rate securities. The data also include statistics pertaining to continuing disclosure documents received through the MSRB’s EMMA website. 

The EMMA website is a centralized online database operated by the MSRB that provides free public access to official disclosure documents and trade data associated with municipal bonds. In addition to current credit rating information, the EMMA website also makes available real-time trade data and primary market and continuing disclosure documents for over one million outstanding municipal bonds, as well as current interest rate information, liquidity documents and other information for most variable rate municipal securities.

The MSRB protects investors, state and local governments and other municipal entities, and the public interest by promoting a fair and efficient municipal securities market. The MSRB fulfills this mission by regulating the municipal securities firms, banks and municipal advisors that engage in municipal securities and advisory activities. To further protect market participants, the MSRB provides market transparency through its Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website, the official repository for information on all municipal bonds. The MSRB also serves as an objective resource on the municipal market, conducts extensive education and outreach to market stakeholders, and provides market leadership on key issues. The MSRB is a self-regulatory organization governed by a 21-member board of directors that has a majority of public members, in addition to representatives of regulated entities. The MSRB is overseen by the Securities and Exchange Commission and Congress.