The latest quarterly survey from South Wales Chamber of Commerce shows businesses in Wales are showing steady signs of growth.
Welsh businesses that trade internationally have continued to perform solidly, with 85 per cent reporting that sales and orders have either remained consistent or increased.
The Quarterly Economic Survey acts as a barometer for the strength of the Welsh economy, and, for the first time, includes results from across the whole of Wales, with the inclusion of businesses from north Wales.
The survey for the first quarter of 2014 shows that more than half (61 per cent) of small and medium-sized businesses from across Wales are expecting to increase their profitability during the next 12 months, with 28.7 per cent expecting to maintain their current profit levels.
The survey also reveals that 95 per cent of businesses are looking to either retain their existing workforce or recruit in the next three months, the highest figure in the last seven years and one that is consistent across Wales.
Despite this, more than half of businesses (53 per cent) revealed that they had experienced difficulties in recruiting during the last quarter.