Business confidence among Irish chief executives has soared, with 93pc reporting their companies did better this year than in 2012.
A survey of 420 CEOs by Enterprise Ireland and Deloitte, in advance of the CEOForum being held yesterday, also found that virtually all Irish bosses – 97pc – think Ireland can collectively outperform nations of a similar size and scale in the global economy.
While just 21pc had forecast that Ireland would return to a consistently high rate of GDP growth this year, 69pc think that will happen in 2014.
"It is very positive for Ireland to see increasing confidence among Irish business leaders," said Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who was attending yesterday's event. "For its part, the Government is working hard to build a new economy based on enterprise, exports and innovation through the relentless implementation of our action plan for jobs.
"As Ireland exits the international bailout this December, the Government will work hard to build on the renewed confidence in Ireland," he added.
But CEOs continue to be unimpressed at the investment being made in the key skills that will enable that innovation.
Nearly three-quarters – 73pc – of the CEOs surveyed said that not enough investment was being based in science, technology and innovation.
Key to Ireland's success in the global economy will be the availability of investment capital, said 38pc of the CEOs queried. Another 18pc said the availability of skilled graduates in maths, science and engineering was a critical issue for the country.
Brendan Jennings, managing partner with Deloitte, welcomed the improved business confidence among CEOs, as did Julie Sinnamon, the chief executive of Enterprise Ireland.