May 17, 2018

Follow the Money: Municipal Bond Fund Performance and Estimated Net Flows for April 2018

by Tom Roseen.

Municipal debt funds declined 0.25% on average for the month of April after rising 0.35% for March. Single-state municipal debt funds declined 0.31% on average for April, while general & insured municipal debt funds mitigated losses slightly better, declining 0.28%. Thomson Reuters Lipper’s High Yield Municipal Debt Funds classification (+0.04%) posted the only plus-side return in the municipal debt funds universe (ex-municipal money market funds, which on average were up 0.10% for the month). The Massachusetts Municipal Debt Funds classification suffered the largest decline for the month, losing 0.42% on average.

Source: Thomson Reuters Lipper

On the estimated fund flows side of the equation investors were net redeemers of municipal debt funds (-$1.2 billion) for April, withdrawing money for the second month in three. Three of the four municipal debt fund macro-groups suffered net outflows for April, with investors padding the coffers of  high yield funds (+$634 million), while short/intermediate municipal debt funds (-$970 million) handed back the largest sum of net money. Lipper’s Short Muni Debt Funds classification (-$680 million) suffered the largest net redemptions of all the muni classifications, while High Yield Muni Debt Funds (+$634 million) attracted the largest sum of net new money for April.

Source: Thomson Reuters Lipper


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