Expectations for M&A in the consumer goods and retail sector have risen significantly over the last few months as energy prices have dropped, according to Mergers & Acquisitions’ Mid-Market Pulse (MMP), a forward-looking sentiment indicator derived from monthly surveys of approximately 250 executives and published in partnership with McGladrey LLP. (See related graphic.)

Dealmakers polled in February gave the consumer goods and retail sector a high 3-month score of 86.1, significantly above the 48.5 score dealmakers polled in October gave the sector. The current 3-month sector score also outpaced the overall M&A score of 77.7 for the same timeframe.

The 12-month composite score for the sector rose too, but not as dramatically. The current 12-month consumer goods and retail score was 72.2, up from 58.7 the last time we looked at the industry.

Survey participants attributed the surge in optimism about the consumer goods and retail sector to lower prices for gasoline and heating oil, which they say will give families more discretionary income to spend.

Previous sector forecasts include manufacturing, energy, consumer goods and retail, health care and financial services.

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