Small business owners are becoming more and more confident about the future of the economy, according to the latest Sensis business index.
The index found that business confidence among small and medium businesses jumped 20 percentage points in the September quarter, with optimists now outnumbering pessimists 65 percent to 15 percent.
According to the report, the key reasons SMEs gave for improved confidence related to feeling that business and the economy would improve.
The lift in confidence was also reflected in an improved outlook for the year ahead. More companies are anticipating higher sales and profitability over the next 12 months than they were in the previous quarter, and more firms expect to increase the size of their workforce in the year ahead.
The survey of 1800 SMEs was conducted between August 18 and September 4.