Momentum picked up in December, reflecting enthusiasm about the election results as well as representing the traditional year-end push to wrap up deals, according to Mergers & Acquisitions’ M&A Conditions Index (MACI). The December composite score rose to 55.4, up from 50.8 the previous month, and tying with October for the highest composite score achieved in 2016.
Most components of the index registered growth, with several rising out of contraction and solidly into expansion.The robust 54.1 score for completed deals indicates the erosion of obstacles that thwarted M&A earlier in the year. The even higher scores for leads at 60.8 and signed letters at 60.4 suggest the pipeline for future transactions is full.
December’s high level of activity followed a brief lull in November, when uncertainty about the U.S. election caused dealmakers to pause. Once the election ended and Republicans won control of the federal government, dealmakers returned to business with enthusiasm, predicting the new administration will lower corporate taxes and ease regulations. Survey participants say the moves will lead to more M&A in 2017.