Federal Reserve information designed to track investor demand for municipal bonds grossly underreports the amount of debt outstanding and retail purchases, in some instances by more than $100 billion, according to analysts at Smith Barney Inc.

For 1992 and 1993, "the amount of tax-exempt bonds reported to be outstanding is much too low -- at least 10% below the actual amount of bonds outstanding," George D. Friedlander and Bart Mosley wrote in a recent issue of the firm's Credit Market Comment.

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