As we head into the fourth quarter, the year continues to be a bright one for M&A, as you'll see from the Wrap Up charts in this issue. Despite some seasonal dips in June and August, 2014 continues to beat 2012 and 2013. You'll also see that dealmakers expect the growth to continue, as measured by the Mid-Market M&A Conditions Index (MACI), a barometer created by Mergers & Acquisitions and sponsored by PwC.

This month, we spotlight a couple of sectors that are performing especially well. M&A practitioners predict significant expansion in health care deals, according to the sixth installment of Mergers & Acquisitions' Mid-Market Pulse (MMP), a forward- looking sentiment indicator published in partnership with McGladrey LLP. In our second look at health care, it remains the strongest sector measured by the MMP, beating the industry scores for manufacturing, TMT, financial services and energy.

And the manufacturing business, once considered moribund in the U.S., is thriving. The industry expanded in August at the fastest pace in three years, according to the Institute for Supply Management's index, which unexpectedly climbed to 59, the highest level since March 2011. Contributing editor Danielle Fugazy's cover story on manufacturing highlights industries in which manufacturing deals are making a big impact.

Running counter to the home-grown theme, many companies, such as Burger King, are pursuing acquisitions that enable them to take advantage of lower corporate tax rates in countries outside the U.S. Assistant managing editor Anthony Noto explores tax-inversion deals and their impact on the middle market in his column, the Buyside.

Launching the critical fourth quarter, October plays a pivotal role in middle- market dealmaking. It's a vital time for making, keeping and building connections. In this issue, reporter Allison Collins previews a trio of October conferences organized by the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG): M&A East in Philadelphia; EuroGrowth 2014 in London; and the 15th Annual Midwest ACG Capital Connection in Chicago. Happy Networking!

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