Annuity sales continue to increase, outpacing levels from the same period last year, according to The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI), which announced preliminary third-quarter results for the U.S. annuity industry.

Third-quarter industry-wide sales were $57 billion, up 5 percent from third-quarter 2010 sales of $54.8 billion. Yet compared to second-quarter sales of $60.3 billion, third-quarter numbers were down 6 percent.

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