Sales of new municipal bonds rose 23% in the first seven months of 1991, to $85.8 billion, a record for the period, as low interest rates continued to draw issuers to market in droves, according to figures compiled by Securities Data Co./Bond Buyer.

The $16.11 billion increase in new-issue volume, from $69.69 billion in the January-July 1990 period, was fueled by 23% increases in new-money and refunding issues. New-money financing rose to $66.5 billion, from $54.05 billion a year ago, and refundings jumped to $19.29 billion, from $15.64 billion.

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