ByJohn S. McClenahen The lackluster U.S. economy has held down the number of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) for more than a year. But that may be about to change. Large, U.S.-based multinational companies expect to be doing more deals during the next two years, indicates a survey from PricewaterhouseCoopers, a New York-based consulting firm. Some 69% of the 150 CFOs and managing directors interviewed said their companies plan to acquire or sell at least one business during the next two years. The vast majority -- 87% -- of the deals are expected to be acquisitions. About two-thirds of the executives (63%) said that mergers and acquisitions would be important to the growth of their companies during the next two years, with 29% of the executives saying the deals would be critically important and 34% expecting them to be somewhat important. The executives interviewed were from technology and consumer and industrial products and services companies as well as financial services firms.