Confidence amongst Irish businesses is at a nine-year high, according to a new survey by KBC Bank Ireland and Chartered Accountants Ireland.

Respondents to the latest Business Sentiment Survey reported stronger activity levels as well as increased optimism about the strength of the country's economy.

Domestic demand is seen to have risen significantly, while manufacturing activity is also up - but at a slower pace of growth than before.

The majority of firms surveyed did not appear to be too worried about a potential British exit from the European Union, with 54% saying they did not see such an outcome having a direct impact on their business. 

However, many did fear the uncertainty it could create.

Also worrying businesses were rising costs during last year, while 80% of respondents expect wages to rise in the months ahead.