After U.S. private equity exit volume reached a record $102 billion in the second quarter, the sector’s focus shifted away from exits and toward new investments in the third quarter, according to new research.

The Private Equity Growth Capital Council reported that exit volume declined by 32% in the July-to-September period — at $69 billion, still the highest third-quarter level during the past decade.

U.S. exit volume peaked in 2014 at $257 billion.

In the third quarter, U.S. investment volume grew by 15% to $154 billion, representing more than 800 deals.

“This increase in investment is significant and suggests that private equity will continue to drive economic growth in companies and markets across the U.S.,” PEGCC’s vice president of research, Bronwyn Bailey, said in a statement.

PEGCC reported other key metrics for the third quarter.

Callable capital reserves of global buyout funds grew by 8% to $486 billion.

As of Sept. 30, total dry power stood at $1.3 trillion, up from $1.2 trillion at the end of 2014 and $1.1 trillion at the end of 2013.

Total equity financing for U.S. leveraged buyouts increased to 42.8% from 41.8% in the second quarter, its highest level since 2010.

U.S. private equity fundraising fell from $67 billion in the second quarter to $59 billion raised by some 60 funds.

— Check out Ultra-Wealthy Boost Investments in 3 Areas, Cut Back in 3: Tiger 21 on ThinkAdvisor.