Merger and acquisition activity should hold steady or increase in 2012, due to low interest rates and record levels of cash on hand held at corporations, according to a survey conducted by KPMG LLP (KPMG) and Knowledge@Wharton. In addition, sellers seem more willing to negotiate. However, some economic concerns continue to hamper deal-making. The U.S. jobs market, while improving, is still sluggish and the uncertainty in Europe has created a nervous global economic environment, while the U.S. presidential election adds additional uncertainty. In order to gain a better understanding of the current mergers and acquisitions (M&A) marketplace and where it's headed, KPMG and Knowledge@Wharton conducted a survey of 825 decision-makers at U.S. corporations, private equity (PE) firms and investment funds.