The survey by CEO organisation Vistage found that 73 per cent of its members, predominantly mid-sized firms, expect the economy to improve this year and 72 per cent plan on taking on more staff.
Plans to increase staffing are based on strong sales expectations 80 per cent said they expect sales to grow and just 3 per cent expect them to fall.
Steve Gilroy, CEO of Vistage, said: Germanys medium-sized businesses are rightly feted as the reason for its economic success. By contrast, Britains mittelstand companies are the UK economys unsung heroes, despite their huge importance to a sustained recovery and sustained job-creation.
Many have emerged from the economic malaise of recent years in good health and cash-rich. Our research shows they are expecting a good 2014 and most have active plans to expand their workforces to take advantage of this in fact many are doing this already.
Those polled also thought that 2013 was a good year for the economy, with 76 per cent reporting improved economic conditions compared to a year ago.