After a robust first half of the year, dealmaking in July continued to expand, but the pace of growth slowed, and completed deals fell sharply, according to Mergers & Acquisitions’ M&A Conditions Index (MACI). The MACI composite score dropped to 51.4 in July, down from 54.5 in June and 55.8 in May.

Completed deals dropped nearly 7 points to 43.3, the lowest point since we began our monthly surveys in the fall of 2013. The dip may be attributable to the fact that July is the first month of the second half of the year. Like January, July often produces lower levels of completed deals. In 2016, for example, the completed deals component of MACI fell significantly in July, when it hit 45.8, down from 50.6 the previous month.

July’s deceleration occurred after a very active first half of the year. More middle-market deals were completed in the first six months of 2017 than in any first half of the year for 10 years. The slowdown in July may also reflect a seasonal pause, as many dealmakers take a vacation before what’s anticipated will be an active autumn. The component that measures leads for new deals scored 56.6, and the component that measures signed letters of intent came in at 56.0, both predictors of fruitful dealmaking ahead.

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