GE Captial's European SME Capex Barometer found that small businesses are also set to invest an extra £45.8 billion over the next year, a 23 per cent increase on when they were asked in the first three months of 2012.
Some two-thirds of the enterprises questioned said that they are investing to upgrade their existing equipment over the next few years.
John Jenkins, Chief Executive of GE Capital UK, said that it is "good to see UK businesses one again looking to increase investment".
He added: "In particular, a drive to modernise and upgrade equipment should spark a corresponding increase in productivity. This is a welcome sign for the UK economy and will provide a boost to wider economic recovery."
It comes after the Guardian's Small Business Network revealed that optimism among small firms is increasing.
Posted by Thomas Fletcher