Respondents to Dykema’s 17th annual M&A Outlook Survey expected the financial services industry to be among the busiest sectors for M&A activity in the coming 12 months. While automotive topped the list, financial services was ranked third, up from fifth place last year.

The full report was released Thursday.

Overall, the survey showed that respondents believe nothing will break the stride of U.S. M&A dealmakers over the year to come, with most viewing the Biden administration’s legislative agenda as positively impacting activity.

A resounding 75 percent of respondents expect the U.S. M&A market will strengthen in the next 12 months, while only 7 percent anticipate it will weaken. Respondents not only predict deal volumes will be up across the board, from small to midmarket to megadeals of $1 billion and more, but 9 out of 10 also expect M&A activity among privately owned businesses to increase over the next year.

Dykema has seen its own M&A activity sharply increase in recent months, closing 26 transactions worth $22 million in Q3 of 2021 alone.