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U.S. Individual Annuity Sales Soar

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Total U.S. individual variable annuity sales climbed to $46 billion in the third quarter, up 23% from the total for the third quarter of 2006, according to LIMRA International.

Fixed annuity sales fell 10%, to $19 billion.

The current instability of the stock market and the widening gap between short-term and long-term interest rates on the fixed annuity side are creating a favorable selling environment for variable annuities, says Dan Beatrice, an analyst at LIMRA, Windsor, Conn.

Fixed annuity sales may be down for the year, but fourth-quarter FA sales should be strong, and “variable annuity sales are near certain to come in at record levels for 2007,” Beatrice says.