The level of merger and acquisition (M&A) activity slowed to a crawl in the second quarter, according to a new report from PricewaterhouseCoopers. During the quarter only 16 chemical transactions worth $50 million or more were announced, for a total of $2.8 billion worth of deals. The year-ago period saw 35 such transactions totaling $11.1 billion. Among the factors explaining the low figures, PwC consultants say, are the recessionary conditions in Europe. “The M&A environment is likely to remain constrained throughout 2013,” the analysts write. “However, there are expectations for renewed economic growth in 2014, particularly in the Eurozone, which may drive improvement in deal activity the following year.” In recent weeks, signs of a coming rebound in activity have emerged, with major chemical firms such as DuPont, Dow Chemical, and Ashland disclosing their intention to divest major businesses.