Tax-free municipal bonds produced solid gains in the second quarter. Longer-term Treasury yields extended their first-quarter decline amid concerns about a sharp weather-related first-quarter U.S. economic contraction, lingering geopolitical tensions with Russia over Ukraine, and a sharp increase in sectarian violence in Iraq. Intermediate- and long-term municipal rates declined more than comparable Treasury yields, but short-term yields in both markets were little changed. Longer-term and lower-quality municipals outperformed shorter-term and higher-quality issues.
The Tax-Free Short-Intermediate Fund returned 0.90% in the quarter compared with 0.80% for the Barclays 1−5 Year Blend (1−6 Year Maturity) Index and 0.85% for the Lipper Short-Intermediate Municipal Debt Funds Average. For the 12 months ended June 30, 2014, the fund returned 2.66% versus 2.65% for the Barclays 1−5 Year Blend (1−6 Year Maturity) Index and 2.42% for the Lipper Short-Intermediate Municipal Debt Funds Average. The fund's average annual total returns were 2.66%, 2.85%, and 3.13% for the 1-, 5-, and 10-year periods, respectively, as of June 30, 2014. The fund's expense ratio was 0.50% as of its fiscal year ended February 28, 2014.
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We were overweight in revenue-backed securities and underweight in prerefunded debt during the quarter, which contributed positively to fund results. Our yield curve positioning also helped, since we maintained a modest out-of-benchmark exposure to 10-year bonds. Intermediate-term bonds rose in price and yields continued to fall during the period on the back of declining Treasury rates. On a negative note, credit selection was a modest detractor from performance. Our holdings within the industrial revenue sector overcame stronger results from our exposure to the leasing sector.
We remain concerned about the potential for rising rates, but we believe that further rate increases will be at a more measured pace than what we witnessed in 2013, in part because the economy's weakness in the first quarter of 2014 is tempering full-year growth expectations. We also believe that short- and intermediate-term rates could be more volatile than long-term rates as we approach the first Fed rate hike. When making investment decisions, we consider the forward-looking projections of rates and yield curves by our interest rate strategy and economics teams, and we will continue to be careful with any portfolio changes that might materially increase our portfolio's interest rate sensitivity.