Data from Thomson Reuters data showed M&A jumped 18 per cent worldwide from the first quarter of 2009, when dealmaking was depressed by the credit crunch that followed the financial crisis.
Compared with the last quarter of 2009, however, M&A fell 16 per cent.
The figures showed that energy deals were currently helping to boost figures.
Senior dealmakers said they expected M&A would continue to recover, after hitting a five-year low last year.
But they warned that better financing conditions needed to be balanced against ongoing caution about the economic outlook and earnings.
Simon Dingemans, managing director, European M&A at Goldman Sachs said: "Most people we speak to would say: we are past the worst, but the outlook is still very uncertain and for many this feels like it's going to be a long, hard climb."