Chart of the week: Closed deals slow and steady. Enough to win race against last year?

This year’s closed-deal sum has climbed at a stable rate through nearly three quarters. That steady pace kept the figure ahead of 2015 — until the mid-July spike fueled by Heinz buying Kraft Foods. Unless a Kraft-to-Heinz-like pact is waiting in the wings, the closed-deal total will spend the rest of the year playing catchup.