The Investment Company Institute said last week that mutual fund assets worldwide increased 6.2 percent to $25.82 trillion at the end of the third quarter of 2007. Asset growth was boosted in part by the participation in the data collection of an additional country.

Net cash flow to all funds worldwide was $319 billion in the third quarter, falling below $400 billion for the first time since the third quarter of 2006. Inflows to long-term funds were down nearly 90 percent to $37 billion in the third quarter from $294 billion in the second quarter.

Bond funds were responsible for a substantial portion of the decline, experiencing net outflows of $51 billion in the third quarter versus a net inflow of $98 billion in the second quarter.

Inflows to money market funds, already robust for four straight quarters, more than doubled in the third quarter, with $282 billion in inflows compared to $138 billion in the second quarter.

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