An international survey shows businesses in New Zealand anticipate 2013 will be better economically with 58% optimistic about what lies ahead.
The Grant Thornton International Business Report ranks New Zealand 10th on the world business optimism league table, well ahead of Australia.
It found 58% of businesses were optimistic about 2013 compared to 36% at the same time last year.
Grant Thornton New Zealand partner Pam Newlove says business owners have adapted to the tough trading conditions.
"They have learnt to be smarter about how they do business rather than lament the recent difficult times," she said.
AAP reports Australian business confidence was at 31% - an increase of 7% from 2012.
"Australia may not have suffered the level of pain that we endured during the global financial crisis, but ... indicators have turned south in the 'lucky country' with a slew of major redundancies in some of the larger companies," said Ms Newlove.
The report found 34% of New Zealand companies were looking to hire more staff compared with 8% in Australia.
AAP reports 70% of New Zealand businesses expect higher revenues and 58% an increase in profitability.
"The overall picture is one of an improving economy," said Ms Newlove.