Business executives are more confident about the economy than at any time since early 1984, according to a survey from the Conference Board.

The New York-based research organization said its measure of business confidence climbed eight points this quarter to 70 - following a seven-point rise in the first quarter. The index base is set at 100, with the highest reading, 76, having been recorded in the second quarter of 1983.

More than 85% of the chief executive officers surveyed said they expect to see the economy improve in the next six months, up from 80% in the first quarter.

Almost 80% said the economy improved over the past six months - up dramatically from the 30% who held a similar view one quarter earlier.

"In assessing the economic outlook, the overwhelming majority of chief executives continue to be optimistic," said Jason Bram, an economist at the Conference Board's consumer research center.

Three out of four executives said they expect their company's profits to increase over the next year, while only 6% expect profits to fall.

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