Yesterday, LIMRA reported variable annuity sales increased 19 percent to $80.7 billion in the six months ended June 30 compared with the same period a year earlier. Today, the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) echoed the increase, reporting first-quarter sales at $40 billion, up 2 percent from $39.2 billion in the previous quarter. IRI says year-to-year quarterly sales of variable annuities posted a 15-percent increase from second quarter 2010 sales of $34.6 billion. Second quarter 2010 net sales were $3.2 billion. There were $26.6 billion in qualified sales and $13.4 billion in non-qualified in the second quarter.

IRI also reported more promising numbers for the annuity industry as a whole: Total annuity sales for the second quarter continued to increase at a double-digit rate. Second-quarter industry wide sales were $60.4 billion, up 10 percent from $55 billion in the second quarter of 2010. Second-quarter sales also garnered quarter-to-quarter growth, increasing at a rate of 4 percent from $58.1 billion in the first quarter of this year.

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