Irish investors are more positive than they have been in nearly three years, a confidence gauge from RaboDirect shows.
The institution's investor barometer, which measures sentiment, reached an all-time high in January, entering positive territory for the first time since it was launched in April 2010.
RaboDirect said the barometer now stood at 100.8, up from 86.9 in September 2012. Under RaboDirect's methodology, any reading of the gauge below 100 indicates negative sentiment and above that is positive.
The gauge stood at 80.5 when it was launched in April 2010 and fell to 69.1 in December 2011 as the country was bailed out. It subsequently started an upward trajectory, even as the economic environment remained extremely challenging.
The results of the survey show that confidence among Irish investors in terms of their national and global economic outlook has risen sharply, with 55pc now optimistic about the prospects for the Irish economy over the next three months.
That compares to just 37pc who were positive about the outlook back in September.
Nearly two-thirds of investors surveyed – 64pc – are confident about the outlook for the global economy in the next quarter. Only slightly over one-third – 34pc – were upbeat about its prospects back in September.
"Irish investor confidence is much more upbeat at present, having stabilised somewhat in 2012," according to Killian Nolan, investment manager at RaboDirect.
"While there are still many challenges ahead for the global economy, uncertainty is now less of a factor and this is evident in the increasing numbers of investors looking at equities as an asset class, particularly in the emerging markets."
However, he said ongoing austerity measures in Ireland were taking their toll in terms of how investors view their own finances.