The Institute of Directors (IoD) found that a balance of plus 31 per cent of leading figures in firms expect a more positive year in 2013 than in 2012, compared to minus 31 per cent this time last year.
Additionally, small businesses and others have also seen an increase in long-term confidence, with plus 22 per cent saying they expect higher UK GDP growth in the next ten years compared to the last decade.
IOD Chief Economist Graeme Leach said that expectations of growth "are rising".
On the government, he added: "George Osborne's approval ratings have suffered, but he retains business support overall. The deficit reduction programme in particular has overwhelming backing from UK directors - the government absolutely must not waver from the course."
It comes after John Walker, Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, revealed that there are reasons for small enterprises to have "cautious optimism" as they start the new year.