The economy, executives and markets in the United States augur steady improvements in the nation's economy over the coming six months, according to a trio of reports released on Wednesday.

About 40 percent of business executives surveyed hailed North America as a top market for corporate mergers and acquisitions in 2013, according to a Deloitte LLP report.

And almost 70 percent of those executives expect the U.S. economy to continue its gradual improvements throughout this year, the report notes. Deloitte polled more than 1,800 professionals in an online May 2013 poll.

Meanwhile, confidence among CEOs saw boosts for the third consecutive quarter, with 60 percent of respondents perceiving better economic conditions than six months ago, according to nonprofit business association the Conference Board. That’s up from 36 percent in the previous quarter.

“CEO confidence, much like consumer confidence, posted a strong gain in the second quarter,” conference board economist Lynn Franco said in a statement. “CEOs are more upbeat about short-term growth prospects in most markets.”

CEOs felt better about the U.S. and Japan, with less favorable expectations for Europe, India and China, the board said.

“The U.S. economy has been surprisingly strong compared to other developed economies, including the euro zone, Japan and the United Kingdom,” Deloitte economist Ira Kalish said in a statement. He cited job, income and housing market rebounds.

On that note, salaries and hiring in New York City are increasing, executive search firm 24 Seven found. Polling more than 4,000 respondents, the survey found that 67 percent of New York executives reported hiring rates equal or above prerecession figures.

Compensation rose significantly for executives but rose at a far lower rate for nonexecutive staff.

Despite the generally positive news, the Obama administration cut its national gross domestic product, or GDP, growth figures down slightly on Monday to 2 percent GDP growth in 2013 from a 2.3 percent forecast made in April. The U.S. unemployment rate remained at 7.6 percent in June, unmoved from the month before.

In a research note on Wednesday, Barclays economists held that U.S. economic growth in the second quarter slowed compared to the first three months of the year.