Irish chief executives are considerably more confident about their business prospects and the wider economy than they were last year, according to a survey by PwC.

More than 85% of CEOs surveyed had a positive outlook on the Irish economy, according to the report, almost triple the number recorded in 2013.

Meanwhile, three quarters were positive about the future prospects of their respective businesses, compared to 44% last year.

Almost 70% expect profits to grow, while more than three quarters expect revenue to rise – up from 53% and 56% respectively in the previous survey.

As a result, almost 60% of the 256 CEOs surveyed said they planned to increase their workforce, while the vast majority of those asked said they expected to increase or maintain their investment in the country.

In terms of the challenges facing their business, those surveyed highlighted rising costs – particularly on the taxation side – as an issue affecting labour costs.

They also said that access to relevant talent was a key concern, as was over-regulation and cyber attacks.