U.S. sales of fixed annuities fell to about $14 billion in first quarter, down 18% from the total for the first quarter of 2006, according to Beacon Research Inc.

Researchers at Beacon, Evanston, Ill., have published those figures in a summary of results from a quarterly survey of 48 insurance companies.

First-quarter sales of indexed annuities amounted $5.6 billion.

Market-value-adjusted annuities accounted for $1.7 billion in sales, and immediate annuities accounted for $1.4 billion in sales.

MVA sales increased 71% from the first-quarter 2006 total, and that was the only class of fixed annuity products that showed year-over-year improvement, Beacon researchers report.