NU Online News Service, Aug. 3, 2004, 1:00 p.m. EDT

Life insurance companies in the U.S. and Canada handled 2.3% fewer applications in July than a year earlier, says the MIB Group Inc.

MIB, in Westwood, Mass, says July was the 2nd straight month with a decline greater than 2% compared to the same period in 2003.

For the U.S., life companies reported 2.2% fewer applications.

The most notable decline was for the 60+ age group, which had been on a 12-month growth streak until June. In July, applications from this group fell -5.8% in the U.S., compared to the prior year. Year to date, however, applications from this demographic was up by 2.5%.