US exchange-traded fund assets increased by $292.7 billion or 28% in 2012, in part driven by positive cash flows of $182.6 billion, marking a new all-time high for the industry on the eve of its 20th anniversary, according to data from State Street Global Advisors.

In December, US ETF inflows topped $28 billion, as investors poured $15.6 billion of new inflows into large cap ETFs and $8.4 billion into emerging market ETFs.

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