Municipal bond sales for public power fell to an 11-year low in 1990, because of a lack of new plants to build and high-coupon bonds to refund. Indications are, however, that the market is on its way back up -- but the going will be slow.

Only $5.19 billion of public power bonds were issued last year, down 35% from $8 billion in 1989, and the smallest amount in more than a decade, according to figures compiled by Securities Data Co./Bond Buyer. Not since 1980, when $3.6 billion was issued, had public power authorities sold so few bonds. Last year's figure had more in common with those in the late 1970s when issuers sold between $4.5 billion and $5 billion of bonds a year from 1976 through 1979, according to The Bond Buyer's records.

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