Early estimates for domestic individual annuity sales for 2007 show they are on a record-setting pace, growing 6% through the first three quarters of the year to reach $189.4 billion, according to LIMRA International.

Variable annuity sales rose 23% in the third quarter, to $46.4 billion. It was the ninth consecutive quarter in which variable annuity sales were greater than in the same quarter a year earlier. Variable annuity sales were up 14% year-to-date, to $136 billion.

"Variable annuity sales are near certain to come in at record levels for 2007," said Dan Beatrice, an analyst with LIMRA. "While fixed annuity sales will likely be down for the year, we anticipate strong fourth-quarter sales growth."

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