The Lipper HI Current Yield Bond Index has risen 17.1 percent, and the Lipper A-Rated Bond Fund Index is up 2.4 percent through early May 2009.
The Lipper High-Yield Municipal Debt Index gained 12.6 percent in the year through May 7, and the Lipper General Municipal Debt index rose 9.4 percent. According to Lipper, Pennsylvania munis have gained 10.2 percent, and other large states between 7.4 percent and 9.8 percent.
In terms of flows in to fixed income, excluding money markets (which had outflows of $1.57 billion in the first week of May), fixed-income funds took in some $2.7 billion in early May, EPFR Global says. And U.S. bond funds have absorbed fresh money every week this year. According to flows tracked by Lipper, bond funds attracted net inflows -- to the tune of $21.8 billion -- in March, for the third month in a row.
During the first week of May, EPFR Global-tracked emerging-markets bond funds had their fourth-straight week of inflows, as did global bond funds - which had their longest winning streak since a 15-week run that ended early in the third quarter of 2007.
In March, according to Lipper, investors put some $22 billion into bond funds, and for the first quarter of 2009, bond funds posted a net gain of close to $50 billion.
Janet Levaux, MBA/MA, is the managing editor of Research in San Francisco; reach her at email@example.com.