MSRB Publishes Annual Fact Book of Municipal Securities Data

Date: March 3, 2016

Contact: Jennifer A. Galloway, Chief Communications Officer


Washington, DC – Overall municipal bond trading volume declined to $2.42 trillion in 2015, down 13 percent from 2014, according to the annual Fact Book published by the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB). Municipal securities trading volume has declined every year since reaching a high of $6.7 trillion in 2007. The majority of last year’s decrease can be attributed to a nearly 40 percent decline in trading volume in the municipal variable rate market. Par traded of fixed rate municipal securities in 2015 increased slightly from 2014.

Despite the decrease in overall par amount traded since 2007, the number of municipal securities trades continues to be stable with 9.26 million trades in 2015, an increase from the 8.91 million trades in previous year.

Each year, the MSRB’s Fact Book provides comprehensive and historical statistics on municipal market trading patterns, the number and type of continuing and primary market disclosure in the municipal securities market, as well as interest rate resets for municipal variable rate securities.

In terms of most-active securities, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico’s 8% 2035 bond took the top spot with trading volume of $7.48 billion in 2015. When measured by the number of trades, the most active security in 2015 was the New Jersey State Transportation Trust Fund Authority 4.25% 2044, which changed hands 6,741 times.

Data in the Fact Book are based on information submitted to the MSRB by municipal securities dealers, issuers and those acting on their behalf. This year’s Fact Book for the first time separates trading data on fixed-rate and variable rate bonds. Additionally, summary tables provide users with easy access to overall trends.

Other trends to note include the volume of customer municipal trades compared to those between dealers. Customer trades (purchase and sales) of municipal bonds as a percentage of all trades have decreased to 77 percent in 2015 from 84 percent in 2011, while interdealer trades have increased every year since 2011 when such trades accounted for 16 percent of the overall market compared to 24 percent in 2015.

The number of continuing disclosure documents submitted by issuers of municipal securities declined 6 percent in 2015, but overall level of submissions remains substantially higher than 2011-2013 levels.

Read the Fact Book.

The MSRB promotes market transparency and access to real-time, municipal market bond information by collecting and disseminating information through its Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website and other transparency systems. Daily and historical summaries of trade data based on security type, size, sector, maturity, source of repayment and coupon type are housed in EMMA’s Market Statistics section.

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 Congressionally-chartered, 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 subject to oversight by the Securities and Exchange Commission.