Daily News: February 18, 2014

ACG: Dealmakers Optimistic About 2014

New York area dealmakers entered 2014 with a moderately upbeat outlook about the U.S. economy and their companies’ business prospects, according to a survey of 140 executives by ACG New York.

A majority of the capital providers, investment bankers, attorneys, accountants and other consultants say that the U.S. economy at the end of 2014 compared with the end of 2013 will be better (68%) or much better (2%) than at year-end 2013.

Their mood contrasts with the results for a similar survey in January 2013, which found only 43% of the dealmakers saying that 2013 would end up better or much better than 2012.

Only a small number (5%) said the U.S. economy would finish 2014 worse than at year-end 2013, compared with 11% in the prior survey.

The written survey was conducted in January 2014 by ACG New York of attendees at four of its events held in Manhattan, Hempstead on Long Island, and Tarrytown in Westchester, NY. The nonprofit association received 140 replies from private equity executives, investment bankers, and lenders (40%), corporate executives (6%) and professionals who provide services necessary to close transactions (45%).

“Dealmakers have entered 2014 on an upbeat note that was missing a year ago,” said Martin Okner, ACG New York president and managing director, SHM Corporate Navigators. “We believe attendees at our events reflect a cross-section of the deal-making community not only in the New York area but across the nation.”

The survey responses indicate that fewer worry about a possible recession. A large majority (82%) said the chances that the U.S. will enter a recession during 2014 are unlikely (72%) or very unlikely (10%). That is an improvement from the mood at the start of 2013, when a lesser 58% of respondents said a recession was unlikely or very unlikely.