December 2018 was also a record trading volume month for US FI ETFs amid heightened market volatility, as volumes totaled $273 billion ($13 billion/day), a ~$28 billion increase from the previous record set in October 2018,” said BlackRock.

While asset growth across a variety of bond ETF segments was solid last year, volume increases easily outpaced flows increase, according to BlackRock.

The 2018 growth rate in Muni ETF trading volumes was 2.5X greater than comparable AUM growth,” said BlackRock. “This dynamic speaks to the increasing usage of FI ETFs by investors, both institutional and retail, for various portfolio applications such as tactical beta, liquidity management, strategic exposure, portfolio completion, and listed options use-cases.”

For more information on the fixed-income markets, visit our bond ETFs category.