Bolstered by low interest rates, municipal bond volume continued to rise at an impressive rate through May, rising 18% to $55.69 billion from $47.12 billion a year ago, led by significant increases in electric power, public facilities, and environmental issues, according to figures compiled by Securities Data Co./Bond Buyer.

In addition, both new-money and refunding issues posted double-dig-it increases. New-money issues rose 12%, to $43 billion in the first five months of 1991, from $38.38 billion in the year-ago period, while refundings jumped 46%, to $12.7 billion from $8.7 billion.

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