Net asset flow into mutual funds jumped to $27 billion in January, nearly double December's influx, the Investment Company Institute estimated.

Cash flow into equity mutual funds was $24 billion in January, up from $12.22 billion the previous month. Bond fund assets grew $3 billion, about as much as in December.

The trend partly reflects seasonal influences related to retirement account activity and yearend bonuses, the institute said. January's net inflows fell short of the record $28.9 billion recorded in the same month of 1996.

The monthly estimates are derived from unpublished weekly estimates based on a survey of long-term funds. The institute, a Washington-based trade organization for the mutual fund industry, expects to release actual data later this month.

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