The Federal Reserve has revised its historical ABCP volume numbers dating back to May 2000 to adjust for previously unaccounted programs that caused a nearly $30 billion spike when added in late April - a jump that initially baffled industry pros.

In a new footnote, the Fed states: "Asset-backed commercial paper outstanding level series has been revised to reflect the inclusion of existing but previously unrecorded programs. The revisions affect outstandings from May 2000 to March 2003. Note that all series for which asset-backed outstandings are a subset will be affected by this revision."

With these revisions, it appears that ABCP volume has been, for the most part, steadily increasing through May - ending the month up $13.8 billion to $737 billion. However, the month-end April figure, which had seemingly spiked more than $23 billion pre-Fed revision, actually declined by about $4 billion, these new figures reveal.

On a monthly basis, ABCP ended May up 1.91%, while year-over-year, ABCP volume is down about $4.7 billion, or 0.64%. Asset-backed commercial paper currently accounts for 53.88%, a slight increase over April's 53.12% market share.

As indicated in the chart below, the curve is barely changed by the revised figures, though it does show that ABCP has accounted for a few more percentage points of overall commercial paper outstandings throughout the past three years. The market has just missed the 55% mark several times, most recently in December 2002, when outstandings made up 54.95% of the market. Prior to the revision, December 2002 was showing 54.04% of the overall market.

Also, by the Fed's new numbers, the market's peak, at $766 billion, is $20 billion greater than previously indicated.

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