The latest opinion poll of 1,369 business bosses carried out by the Institute of Directors (IOD) revealed 16 per cent believe the risk of another recession is high, down from 35 per cent last year.
Less than half are of the opinion that there is a moderate risk of a triple-dip recession and 34 per cent are of the view that the threat remains low.
In contrast, just 11 per cent of respondents to the 2012 survey claimed the risk of another recession was low, illustrating how much sentiment has risen in the last 12 months.
As the IOD pointed out, the proportion of business leaders envisaging a high risk of recession has declined from one in three to approximately one in six this New Year.
The high level of optimism did not end there, however, as the proportion of respondents who expect 2013 to be better than the previous year exceeds those with a negative outlook by a margin of +31 per cent - a staggering reversal from -31 per cent in 2012.
IOD chief economist Graeme Leach said: "2012 was a tough year, but business leaders expect 2013 to be much better. The risk of a return to recession and a triple dip has not gone away, but it is receding fast, and expectations of growth are rising."
The New Year will still bring with it a number of concerns for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), however, with research from Aldermore revealing running out of cash and not being paid on time are among small firms' top fears.
Despite this, the survey of 300 SMEs revealed that business owners are happy running their own companies, with this positive attitude likely to help carry them through the next 12 months.
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