Half of middle-market business owners and executives in a KeyBank survey said they were "extremely" or "very" likely to complete an acquisition in the next six months.
Seventy-five percent of them said they were planning to expand, primarily through adding employees.
Asked about the U.S. economic outlook, 55 percent described it as either excellent or very good. Bruce McCain, chief investment strategist for Key Private Bank, said until rising inflation and significantly higher interest rates are reflected in key economic and market indicators, "recession should be unlikely."
"Given the current level of interest rates and key leading indicators, the outlook for 2018 seems very good," McCain said.
KeyBank in mid-December surveyed 300 leaders of companies with revenues of $20 million to $4 billion. The companies surveyed were not Key clients and were from around the country.