The Investment Company Institute released its latest monthly "Trends in Mutual Fund Investing" report yesterday. ICI shows that MMF assets fell last month after rising for the previous three months. Assets decreased by `$11.5 billion in March to $3.079 trillion. This follows an increase of $45.5 billion in February, $8.2 billion in January, and $71.8 billion in December. In the 12 months through March 31, 2019, money fund assets have increased by $286.4 billion, or 10.3%. We review ICI's latest monthly statistics below.

ICI's "Trends: March 2019" states, "The combined assets of the nation's mutual funds increased by $175.55 billion, or 0.9 percent, to $19.25 trillion in March, according to the Investment Company Institute’s official survey of the mutual fund industry. In the survey, mutual fund companies report actual assets, sales, and redemptions to ICI."

It explains, "Bond funds had an inflow of $28.89 billion in March, compared with an inflow of $35.90 billion in February.... Money market funds had an outflow of $14.89 billion in March, compared with an inflow of $41.17 billion in February. In March funds offered primarily to institutions had an outflow of $29.97 billion and funds offered primarily to individuals had an inflow of $15.08 billion."

The latest statistics shows that Taxable MMFs lost assets, but Tax Exempt MMFs inched higher last month. Taxable MMFs decreased by $11.7 billion in March to $2.941 trillion. Tax-Exempt MMFs increased $0.2 billion in March to $138.5 billion. Taxable MMF assets increased year-over-year by $281.0 (10.6%) while Tax-Exempt funds rose by $5.4 billion over the past year (4.1%). Bond fund assets increased by $85.0 billion in March (2.0%) to $4.270 trillion; they've risen by $176.8 billion (4.3%) over the past year.

Money funds represent 16.0% of all mutual fund assets (down from 16.2% the previous month), while bond funds account for 22.2%, according to ICI. The total number of money market funds was 367, the same number as in February but down from 382 a year ago. Taxable money funds numbered 286 funds, and tax-exempt money funds remained at 81 funds.

ICI also released its latest "Month-End Portfolio Holdings of Taxable Money Funds," which confirmed a jump in Treasuries and a sharp drop in Repo. Repurchase Agreements remained in first place among composition segments; they decreased by $61.6 billion, or -5.9%, to $980.1 trillion, or 33.3% of holdings. Repo holdings have risen by $197.1 billion, or 25.2%, over the past year.

Treasury holdings in Taxable money funds jumped by $48.7 billion, or 5.9%, to $880.3 billion, or 29.9% of holdings. Treasury securities have increased by $1.2 billion, or 0.1%, over the past 12 months. U.S. Government Agency securities were the third largest segment; they increased $12.9 billion, or 2.0%, to $655.6 billion, or 22.3% of holdings. Agency holdings have risen by $11.9 billion, or 1.8%, over the past 12 months.

Certificates of Deposit (CDs) stood in fourth place; they decreased by $6.6 billion, or -2.8%, to $226.4 billion (7.7% of assets). CDs held by money funds have grown by $54.4 billion, or 31.6%, over 12 months. Commercial Paper remained in fifth place, up $3.0 billion, or 1.4%, to $211.3 billion (7.2% of assets). CP has increased by $56.9 billion, or 36.8%, over one year. Notes (including Corporate and Bank) were down by $114 million, or -1.4%, to $7.8 billion (0.3% of assets), while Other holdings decreased to $10.7 billion.

The Number of Accounts Outstanding in ICI's series for taxable money funds increased by 317.1 thousand to 34.309 million, while the Number of Funds remains at 286. Over the past 12 months, the number of accounts rose by 3.123 million and the number of funds decreased by 12. The Average Maturity of Portfolios was 32 days, up 3 days from February. Over the past 12 months, WAMs of Taxable money funds have shortened by 1 day.

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