Companies in the UK are at their most optimistic in six years, which suggests that the county has shaken off the global economic gloom.

Unlike other big economies, UK companies are seeing a boost in confidence; this may be partially thanks to the service sector.

The service sector includes a wide range of businesses ranging from hairdressers and spas to restaurants and hotels, as well as lawyers and insurers. The smaller manufacturing sector has also seen a jump in business activity and has maintained a two-year high.

According to a recent global business outlook survey conducted by Markit, a fiscal intelligence firm, confidence in other countries has dropped in the past few months – primarily in the US and China.

"The UK …is undergoing a period of solid and increasingly sustainable-looking economic growth," explains Chris Williamson, Markit’s chief economist. "Expansion is being led by the service sector, where business optimism has surged to the highest since late-2006. Even manufacturing is seeing the brightest outlook for two years. Exporters are benefiting from sterling's depreciation, which is offsetting worries about slower growth in many key export markets."

The survey covered 11,000 companies all over the world and the findings mesh with the bright outlook forecast by the Ernst & Young Item Club, which showed a forecast for growth in 2013 of 1.1% – up from 0.6% just a few months ago.