U.S. sales of individual fixed annuities rose to about $19 billion in the first quarter, up 6% from the total for the first quarter of 2010.

Beacon Research Publications Inc., Evanston, Ill., has published those figures in its latest quarterly review of the U.S. fixed annuity market.

Beacon believes sales of indexed annuities increased 0.2%, to $7.1 billion, the firm says.

Sales of market-value-adjusted annuities increased 7%, to $1.4 billion, and sales of book value annuities increased 12%, to $8.6 billion.

Income annuity sales increased 0.8%, to $1.8 billion.

Fixed annuities did well during the first quarter because fixed annuity rates were higher than many banks’ interest rates on certificates of deposit, Beacon Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Alexander says in a statement about the results.

- Allison Bell

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