Although the new administration has not filled government crucial positions like the FTC chair, corporate executives look forward to a robust deal environment over the next twelve months, according to a new survey. 

Ernst & Young's semiannual Global Capital Confidence Barometer found that 79% of U.S. executives "expect to actively pursue M&A" in the next year, up from 57% one year ago and the long-term average of 47%.

The U.S. has seen the second-highest first-quarter deal activity in the past ten years, worth $3.66 billion, up 22% from last year. That high level of M&A activity can be expected to continue: 93% of the executives have 1-3 deals in the works.

While the promise of a business-friendly president has buoyed stock returns, President Trump has not yet followed through on many such campaign promises. Significant tax reform, including lowering the business rate to 15% from 35%, was one of the many legislative items Trump promised to introduce to Congress "and fight for their passage within the first 100 days" of his administration.

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The hundred day marker comes the same week the Trump administration unveiled its new tax plan, on Wednesday. Markets barely budged at the announcement, but it's crucial to dealmakers: 46% of the executives surveyed are considering such tax reform when evaluating the deal landscape. The plan, for example, did not mention the 10% tax repatriation holiday Trump campaigned on, and National Economic Council director Gary Cohn said they still don't have specifics on repatriation. Cash stashed abroad, like Apple's (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. (AAPL) Report billions, could boost M&A. 

The president's opinions on antitrust matters are similarly murky. While he said on the campaign trail that he didn't approve of AT&T's (T) - Get AT&T Inc. Report planned $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner (TWX) , AT&T and Time Warner brass reportedly expect the deal to pass antitrust scrutiny without a hitch. Mergers like Allergan's (AGN) - Get Allergan plc Report abortive $160 billion tie-up with Pfizer (PFE) - Get Pfizer Inc. Report , quashed during the Obama administration, could likewise be back on the table, facilitated by a potential tax holiday. Many executives may feel they simply don't have time to wait for additional clarity.

"We are facing the most complex macroeconomic environment in recent memory - but despite the complexities, executives don't have the option to wait and see," said William M. Casey, EY Americas Vice Chair of Transaction Advisory Services, in a statement. "They must be cognizant of potential uncertainties, while actively maintaining their search for strategic opportunities to drive growth. The risk of being left behind is far too great to ignore - so the deals continue."

And many may not need clarity: 54% of U.S. executives surveyed believe that the Trump administration is creating, not hampering, additional M&A activity.

As Trump, the first president without government or military experience in American history, reaches this major landmark in his administration, the outlook still seems bright, according to EY: 95% of those surveyed saying that the United States economy will improve or remain stable over the next year.

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