The chief executive officers of more than 75% of the fastest-growing companies in the country are optimistic about the economy, according to a survey by Coopers & Lybrand.

The accounting firm conducts a quarterly survey of 450 of the fastest- growing companies that have sales of $1 million to $50 million.

Only 3% of the executives surveyed said they are pessimistic about the economy. At this time last year, 60% were optimistic and 8% were pessimistic.

The CEOs surveyed said their greatest problems are competition from foreign markets and a lack of skilled, trained workers.

Nearly two-thirds of the executives plan major investments in their businesses this year. Those investments will use about 14% of their revenues.

In 1996, the companies surveyed posted average revenue growth of 26.9%. This year, the executives expect revenue growth of 29%.

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