WASHINGTON - The municipal bond market is saying goodbye to the old year and ringing in the new year with a resounding hurrah. In its usual quiet and efficient manner, a network of broker-dealers and underwriters in the tax-exempt market, serving hundreds of state and local governments and millions of investors, enjoyed a record year.

While the final figures for 1992 are not in yet, a preliminary estimate from the Public Securities Association, the trade group that represents the municipal finance market, puts total municipal bond volume in 1992 at 274 billion. That's up 30% from the $210 billion total racked up in 1991, and it beats the all-time high of $245 billion set in 1985, when market participants rushed to beat tax law changes enacted by Congress.

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