Reflecting a wide range of concerns, including an economic slowdown and an interest rate hike, dealmakers polled in November predicted much slower growth for transactions in the financial services, insurance and real estate (FIRE) sector than they did the previous year, according to Mergers & Acquisitions Mid-Market Pulse (MMP). (See related graphic.)

The FIRE Sector's score of 51.4 for the 3-month outlook fell far below the 79.3 score the sector garnered in November 2014, when optimism was high following the mid-term elections. The sector's 12-month scores followed a similar decline, with the current 57.8 much lower than the previous year's 87.2.

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