Annuity vendors have very little to cheer about so far this year. Annuity sales in the second quarter of 2012 totaled $57 billion, down 8% from the year-ago quarter, according to LIMRA's second quarter 2012 U.S. Individual Annuities Sales survey.

Sales were off for the first half of the year, as well. For the first six months of 2012, annuity sales totaled $111.8 billion, down 8% from the year-ago period.

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