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April 17, 2024

Short-Duration: Key Driver In Fixed Income Q1 Performance

by Jack Fischer.

U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell speaks at the 2024 Business, Government & Society Forum at the Stanford Graduate School of Business in Stanford, California, U.S., April 3, 2024.

Fixed income funds realized a return of positive 0.50% on average during the first quarter of 2024, marking their second straight quarterly gain and fifth plus-side quarterly return in their last six. Taxable bond funds (+0.58%) outperformed tax-exempt bond funds (+0.27%) for the fourth time in five quarters.

In this fixed income fund market segment, I provide a market recap plus highlight quarterly performance, flows, and trends for conventional mutual funds and ETFs.


  • Actively managed fixed income funds (+0.54%) outperformed their passive (-0.04%) counterparts.
  • Thirty of the 51 Lipper fixed income classifications ended the first quarter with gains—all 51 posted a plus-side return in Q4.
  • The top-performing Lipper classifications in Q1 were Flexible Income Funds (+3.37%), Loan Participation Funds (+2.29%), and Emerging Markets Hard Currency Debt Funds (+1.94%).
  • General U.S. Treasury Funds (-1.80%), General U.S. Government Funds (-1.31%), and Emerging Markets Local Currency Debt Funds (-1.03%) closed the quarter as the worst-performing classifications.
  • Fixed income investors were net buyers of fund assets for the quarter, adding $177.4 billion—marking the largest quarterly intake since Q1 2021 and thethe fifth straight quarterly inflow.

Click here or the Download Full Report link in the upper right-hand column of this page to access the First Quarter 2024 Fixed Income FundMarket Insight Report: Short-Duration: Key Driver in Fixed Income Q1 Performance.

You can also view the Q1 Equity FMIR, which shows equity mutual funds and ETFs celebrated their fifth quarterly gain (+6.92%)  in six, while posting its second straight quarterly plus-side return.

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