M&A deals worth $633bn (£405bn) closed in the third quarter, a fifth lower than a year earlier.
But early gains this year mean 2011 is so far still better for M&A deals than both 2009 and 2010. M&A deals worth almost $2.2 trillion closed in the first nine months of the year, up from $2 trillion a year earlier.
UK dealmaking also proved resilient, with 559 deals worth $45bn closing in the past three months, an 80 per cent rise on a year ago. UK third-quarter M&A accounted for 7.1 per cent of the global market.
Mergermarket said M&A was up 21.5 per cent to $1.8 trillion this year.