Nearly three quarters of European leasing professionals expect new business volumes to increase in the first six months of 2014, according to the latest Leaseurope and Invigors survey.
The European Business Confidence survey, conducted in December 2013, found 74% of respondents anticipating doing more business between January 1 and 30 June of this year, compared to 10% who believed business volumes would decline.
Just under half (49%) of respondents said they were planning expansion over the period with the focus on growing business in the vehicle, agriculture and technology sectors as well geographically outside Europe.
Three-fifths of respondents also expected net-profit in their businesses to rise over the period, an improvement on the 55% recorded in the previous survey from June 2013.
Expectations on the level of bad debt also improved on the previous survey with the majority of participants (59%) forecasting that bad debt will remain unchanged over the coming six months.
Richard Ryan, a partner with Invigors EMEA, said: "Business sentiment in the European asset finance industry is markedly more positive as the outlook for growth in many European economies continues to improve.
"Over 60% of respondents in the December survey are more optimistic about the prospects for their business in 2014, up from just 36% the previous June."