Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC) said confidence across all business sectors is now stronger than this time last year, with optimism in the tourism industry growing at its highest rate seen since 2006.
But in its Business Survey, which covers the third quarter of this year and is published today, it warns the recovery remains vulnerable to external shocks.
The Chambers's survey comes as figures show that GDP rose by 0.6% between April and June, compared with the first three months of the year. UK GDP increased at the same rate over the period.
Economists at the Centre for Public Policy for Regions (CPPR), the think-tank at the University of Glasgow, put the quarterly rise down to an improvement in the manufacturing and construction sectors.
On an annual basis, which compares the three months between April and June with the same quarter last year, Scottish GDP rose by 1.8%. This was narrowly ahead of the 1.5% seen for the UK as whole.
The CPPR again put the annual growth down to progress in manufacturing and construction, as well as the impact of business services.
SCC said its survey, carried out with the University of Strathclyde's Fraser of Allander Institute, reveals confidence and trends in all business sectors are stronger than a year ago.
But while it said the economy is working towards pre-recession levels, it warned there is no guarantee the recovery will be sustained.
Noting the recovery cannot be sustained by the "one lever" of increasing consumer spending, SCC chief executive Liz Cameron said: "Much depends on continuing positive trends in our major export markets and on speedy resolution of any remaining US fiscal issues.
"Importantly, prices and wages remain disconnected and so household incomes continue to be squeezed; this creates risk in reliance on a consumer driven economy, which is why government rhetoric about investment and sustainability needs to become a reality to enable continued growth and confidence."
The warm summer weather brought a major boost to tourism in the third quarter, and SCC said the net balance of optimism among firms (+27.8%) was the highest since 2006. More than half of hotels reported a rise in guests and higher occupancy rates compared with 12 months ago. Occupancy was measured at 75% for the quarter, up on the previous quarter (69%) and also the third quarter of 2012 (68%).
Beyond the tourism sector, the survey said that business confidence continued to improve for a net balance of manufacturing firms, while the net balance of optimism in retail was positive for the first time since 2006.
SCC said the last quarter had brought a halt to a long-term decline in retail sales. The retailers surveyed, largely independent businesses, expect turnover to rise in the three months to December, but they do not expect profits to rise in tandem.
This contrasts with manufacturing, where a rise in turnover and profitability are forecast.
The survey, based on the views of 260 firms, noted an easing of the downward trend on optimism among wholesalers, while sentiment was unchanged in construction.
In manufacturing, orders grew at the highest rate since the third quarter of 2007 and are expected to grow in quarter four, albeit trends in export orders remain fragile.
Costs are still a challenge for manufacturers, with a majority (72% in quarter three versus 68% in the second quarter) citing pressure from raw materials prices and supplier costs. Some 36% expressed concern over transport costs, compared with 40% in quarter two.
Less than 10% of manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers expect price falls in this quarter.
In construction, while orders declined they remained higher than the same period last year.
Manufacturers and construction firms signalled a rise in investment intentions, though the trend remained weak in retail. Trends in employment were found by the survey to have been generally upward, with rising trends in employment noted across all the main sectors.
Ms Cameron called for a review of business support provided by the Scottish Government to ensure public sector support, including a new allocation for European Union (EU) funding for 2014 to 2020, is geared at encouraging companies to invest in "transport, capital expenditure and support to employ people".
She challenged the UK Government to remove barriers to business growth, claiming the abolition of Air Passenger Duty would boost exports and attract investment to Scotland. And while she welcomed the commitment by the Coalition to hand businesses a £2000 annual allowance to offset National Insurance contributions from April 2014, she called for the allowance to be increased to help businesses reduce employment costs and allow them to take on more staff.