As many as 74 per cent of the respondents expect GDP growth of 8 per cent or more as against 61 per cent in the previous October-December 2010-11 survey, it said.
The CII Northern Region Business Outlook Survey was conducted across Chandigarh, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, and included 69 per cent of respondents from the manufacturing sector and 21 per cent from the services sector.
It found the overall business outlook for the current three months (January - March 2010 -11) is better than the actual performance for the last three months (October - December 2010).
The survey also looked into expectations on various elements that build up business confidence in the form of investments, capacity utilisation, sales, production, new orders etc.
"56 per cent of the respondents expect an increase in investments during the current three months and capacity utilisation is expected to increase in the current three months," it said.
It added 68 per cent of the respondents expect capacity utilisation of 75 per cent or more during the current three months as against 42 per cent reporting the same in the last three months.
Outlook on exports, which according to experts are crucial for the country's economic recovery, seems to be much better for the current three months.
Eight six per cent of the respondents expect an increase in volume of exports as compared to only 52 per cent actually reporting an increase in the last three months, it said.
The survey also highlighted cost and availability of labour followed by rising interest rates are the two most important concern areas for the industrial sector.
Cost of labour may be due to shortage of skilled workforce and implementation of NREGA scheme which has led to some of the industry witnessing a decline in availability of labour. Rising interest rates is the second most important concern in this survey indicating expectations of further monetary tightening by the RBI, survey said.