According to the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), optimism among small businesses has reached its highest level since 2006. The NFIB Small Business Optimism Survey rose 2.3 points in December, with positive movement in eight of ten categories.

The greatest areas for optimism included plans to increase employment, plans to make capital outlays, higher sales expectations and timing for expansion. While the survey showed gains in November, those improvements were limited to just two categories. December’s rise in eight categories shows a much broader confidence among small businesses.

One category that took a negative turn in December was expectations for the economy to improve. Meanwhile, optimism on current inventory remained neutral.

Having regained its pre-recession average and highest reading since October of 2006, the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index certainly suggests that 2015 could be a strong year for small businesses.

To read the NFIB’s full report, please click here.