Consistently low interest rates and a sputter-spurt economy sparked an almost unprecedented amount of bond sales in the first half of this year as long-term volume jumped 29%, to $146.71 billion from $113.76 billion in the same period a year ago, according to Securities Data Co.

Bond sales for the first half of 1993 constituted the second busiest half-year on record, trailing the $148.46 billion sold in the second half of 1985, when issuers bombarded the market in anticipation of stringent tax reform. This year's second and first quarters, with respective sales of $80.49 billion and $67.19 billion, were the second and third busiest quarters ever, but they trailed well behind the $110.16 billion total for the fourth quarter of 1985.

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