(Bloomberg News) Corporate bond sales in the U.S. soared to a record $427 billion in the first three months of 2012, beating a previous quarterly high set a year ago as companies tap the debt market at the lowest-ever borrowing costs.

Offerings by companies from the neediest to the most creditworthy surpassed the previous record of $397 billion reached in the first quarter of 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Yields on investment-grade bonds fell to 3.4 percent on March 2, the lowest in records dating back to 1986, and were within 10 basis points of the mark at 3.47 percent yesterday, Bank of America Merrill Lynch Index data show.