Businesses are hiring at their strongest pace since the middle of 2007, according to a new survey of employer sentiment.

Respondents to the latest KBC Bank / Chartered Accountants Ireland Business Sentiment Index have reported further growth in activity and hiring during the second quarter of 2014.

The majority of businesses have also seen activity increase in recent months - with just 12% seeing levels decrease.

The survey notes that these growth levels are slightly softer than in the first three months of the year, however, though businesses are positive about their prospects for the coming months.

Further gains in Gross Domestic Produce are expected over the remainder of the year, while businesses expect some relief in domestic demand as consumer confidence begins to improve.

However there remains some concern among respondents, both of the economic “headwinds” that exist locally as well as the potential impact of recent events on the global economy.

The KBC / Chartered Accountants Ireland Business Sentiment Survey is based on the responses of 397 chartered accountants working in senior positions in Irish firms and was conducted between 14-17 July.