Business owners are feeling 14 percent better about the future today than two years ago, and no wonder: they are enjoying stronger financial results and expect them to be even more robust next year.

That's the word from Principal Financial Group's Well-Being Index, which found that a whopping 88 percent of the 600 owners surveyed reported their businesses were either stable or growing.

In 2012, the Well-Being Index respondents weren't nearly so bullish. Just a quarter of them said they were optimistic about the 2013 economy. This year, 40 percent expressed optimism for 2015, 53 percent said their financials were in better shape than a year ago, and 71 percent reported having surplus business capital, up from 62 percent last time around.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.