BOULDER - The confidence of Colorado business leaders remains positive and has slightly increased going into third quarter 2014, according to the most recent Leeds Business Confidence Index released Wednesday by the University of Colorado-Boulder's Leeds School of Business.

The third-quarter index posted a reading of 61.2, an increase from 61 last quarter.

While both large and small employers were notably positive heading into the new quarter, large employers (with 50 or more employees) expressed greater optimism with an index of 64 compared to 58.8 for small employers.

Expectations measured positive - at 50 or higher - for all of the metrics within the index, which include the national economy, state economy, industry sales, industry profits, capital expenditures and hiring plans.

"Business leaders' reaffirmed confidence heading into the third quarter despite a dismal quarter one GDP (gross domestic product) report," said economist Richard Wobbekind, executive director of the Leeds School's Business Research Division, which complies the index. "Panelists' perceptions of the state economy outperforming the national economy are in fact grounded in the reality that the state economy is one of the best economies in the nation."

The across-the-board positive standings represent 11 consecutive quarters of positive expectations, according to the index - a report that's now in its 11th year.

"Increased confidence coincides with increasing home prices, employment gains, rebounding household income and falling foreclosure rates," Wobbekind said.

Confidence in capital expenditures had the greatest gain of 1 point to 59.6, up from 58.6 last quarter. Confidence in the state economy slipped to 65.9, down from 66.7 last quarter - the greatest decrease in the report.

Still, confidence in the state economy outpaces confidence in the national economy - a 37-quarter trend in the index, which held steady at 57.5 from the second quarter to the third quarter.

For more information about the Leeds School's Business Research Division and the third-quarter report visit http://leeds.colorado.edu/brd.