Banks sold $3.5 billion worth of annuities in February, down from $3.7 billion in February 2004.[@@]

Fixed annuity sales of $2 billion for the month were down slightly from $2.2 billion a year earlier, while variable annuity sales were even with the $1.5 billion reported a year before, according to Kenneth Kehrer Associates, Princeton, N.J.

Demand for fixed annuities remains strong, according to Brad Powell, president of the institutional marketing group at Jackson National Life Insurance Company, Lansing, Mich., which sponsors the monthly survey.