Fifty two per cent of companies that took part in the annual Greater Peterborough Business Survey 2018 reported an increased performance over the last 12 months - the same level as last year’s survey
However, 64 per cent - up 10 per cent - are confident their performance will get better over the coming year.
Twenty-two per cent saw performance drop over the year according to the survey put together by accountants Rawlinsons and economic development company Opportunity Peterborough (OP).
The survey also found 40 per cent of businesses were expecting to invest in more staff.
But half are finding it tough to recruit the right staff and 78 per cent fear rising costs.
Brexit has had a negative impact on expectations for 33 per cent while seven per cent expect a positive impact - down from 15 per cent last year.
Mark Jackson, senior partner at Rawlinsons, said: “Data indicates that 1,779 new companies were formed in Peterborough during 2017.
“This is a record, up 11 per cent over the last three years, demonstrating that Peterborough continues to be seen as a place to do business, and that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well.
He added: “The level of positive expectation for 2018 has risen significantly, and therefore if Peterborough business can deliver on those expectations, we can look forward to an even more successful year ahead.”
Steve Bowyer, OP chief executive, said: “It’s pleasing to see such confidence from Peterborough’s businesses in this year’s survey.
“Once again skills and recruitment feature prominently in this year’s survey, with respondents signalling growing demand for skilled workers.”
He said a planned University of Peterborough would be a major catalyst for economic growth and skills development.