Businesses were more upbeat about their prospects in December.
The latest Economic Pulse from Bank of Ireland, which measures the economic mood of the country, reveals that the initial shock associated with Brexit and the US election appears to have worn off.
Firms are now more positive about their activity and hiring than they were in November, although they are slightly less optimistic than they were last January.
Dr Loretta O'Sullivan, Bank of Ireland Group Chief Economist, said: "So firms are feeling more positive this month compared to what they felt last month and what the results are telling us is that more firms are looking towards the next three months and seeing the opportunities there.
"And likewise in terms of hiring, firms are looking towards the next three months and seeing that there are opportunities to create jobs as well."