Ideal economic conditions and an increased emphasis on retirement savings led to significant structural change in the fund industry in the 1990's and transformed it into the largest financial service industry, according to a recent study issued by the Investment Company Institute of Washington, D.C.

High employment rates and low interest and inflation rates brought the industry five times the amount of new assets it attracted in the 1980's, according to the study. Overall, assets grew 21.4 percent on an annual basis for the decade.

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