There has been a further lift in business confidence - but the authors of the National Bank survey are cautious about the trend.
The bank's monthly survey of business confidence shows optimists outnumber pessimists, with a net 16% of firms expecting their prospects to improve in the next year.
That compares with 5% expecting better times ahead last month.
However, the bank says the survey was taken before the latest global economic turmoil and confidence remains weak, as a net number of firms still expect lower profits and to employ fewer people.
Investment intentions are also only slightly up.