Business leaders are increasingly confident about Singapore's economic prospects and will likely increase hiring over the next few months, according to a new survey.

More than 90 per cent of about 400 executives from the financial, commercial and information technology sectors are confident of growth this year.

Confidence is sky-high in the commercial sector with 93 per cent of those polled expecting economic expansion compared with 78 per cent last year.

About 92 per cent of technology sector executives were upbeat compared with 66 per cent last year, while 91 per cent of financial leaders expect expansion, up from 83 per cent last year.

In anticipation of higher demand for their products and services, the survey, conducted last month by recruitment consultant Robert Half, forecasts an increase in hiring activity for these sectors in the next six months.

Robert Half Singapore director Stella Tang said: "Last year, new hires were mainly to fill jobs cut during the financial crisis. This year the new hires are for new jobs to drive growth plans."

The commercial industry is the most bullish sector with 45 per cent of those polled intending to increase headcount, particularly for accounting and financial analysis positions.

About 43 per cent of decision makers in the financial services sector plan to add new permanent staff, primarily for accounting and operations support.

Just 35 per cent of those surveyed in the IT sector plan to employ more professionals.

The most sought-after talent in the IT industry are those working on security, followed by applications development professionals.

More than 90 per cent of the business leaders in all three sectors are worried about losing top talent and find it challenging to find skilled talent - factors that could impact wages.

Said Ms Tang: "We expect average salary increase to remain in the single digit range in the current and next quarter, barring any unexpected disruptions to the economy. It can also hit double digits if you move to a new company."