While a number of annuity markets experienced record sales in 2012, total annuity sales dropped 8 percent, tallying $219.4 billion, according to LIMRA's fourth quarter 2012 U.S. Individual Annuities Sales survey. For the fourth quarter, total annuity sales were $52.6 billion, a decline of 8 percent from the previous year.

Indexed annuity sales hit a record high of $33.9 billion in 2012 — a 5 percent increase compared to sales in 2011. Indexed annuity sales grew slightly in the fourth quarter, reaching $8.5 billion, an increase of 2 percent over one year ago. However, this was 2 percent lower than third-quarter sales.

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