SEVEN out of 10 business people are more confident about their prospects for the future, a survey has found.
The report, assessing the attitudes of Irish business people across the UK and Ireland towards the corporate climate and international trade, found that 90pc were as, or more confident than they had been in the past year.
The IIBN (Irish International Business Network) business confidence survey also found that eight out of 10 people expected to see an increase in turnover and profitability in the coming year. Niall Fenton, IIBN Dublin Chapter chairman, said that while the business climate was challenging, the findings of the report were promising.
"Irish business people at home and abroad have seen improvements on their balance sheets and this is feeding into their optimism.
"Hopefully this will be reflected in consumer confidence levels over the coming months," he said.
Key findings of the survey include:
* Irish business people are slightly (55pc) or significantly (13pc) more confident in the economic prospects facing their businesses in the coming 12 months.
* A total of 64pc of respondents reported a significant or mild increase in turnover and gross profits in the past year.
* Increases in sales volumes of 63pc and exports of 41pc in the past 12 months.
Despite the positive findings, late payment from customers is considered to be the biggest challenge facing businesses. A total of 56pc of respondents claimed late payment from customers had a mild or very negative effect on their business.