Channel Insider content and product recommendations are editorially independent. We may make money when you click on links to our partners. Learn More.

Things might just be looking up for the economy. At least that’s the word from IT industry association CompTIA, whose recent survey of technology company confidence shows some signs that the market could be on the upswing.

CompTIA surveyed 200 technology companies across three different confidence measures to come up with an overall indicator instrument it calls the IT Industry Business Confidence Index. Between May (the first fielding of the survey) and August, the index increased 3.3 points to 52.3 on a zero-to-100 scale.

While not an enormous quarterly leap in optimism, the compass is moving in the right direction, according to Tim Herbert, vice president of market research at Illinois-based CompTIA. Moreover, attitudes about the technology industry are healthier than those about the economy as a whole. Broken out separately, the confidence index for the technology industry came in at 56.2, while it was 41.3 for the U.S. economy. And looking ahead, two-thirds said they had a positive outlook for the IT industry over the next six months.

Herbert also points to the fact that nearly half of the companies surveyed said they expect to boost R&D spending and other new revenue-generating projects. Nearly a third of them said they plan to spend more on technology.

“The data suggests that companies have begun to reset expectations with an eye towards an improved economic landscape,” explained Herbert.

Hiring and recruitment plans are another leading indicator of confidence, or lack thereof. There’s good news in the August survey results with 53 percent of IT companies expecting to hold staffing levels constant over the next six months, while 29 percent said they planned to hire more people. Those planning to ramp up hiring are anticipating an increase in demand for their products, Herbert said.