Insurance brokers have been increasingly optimistic in the last quarter of the year after a decline in the previous quarter, while profitability returned to positive growth, according to a CBI/PwC Financial services survey. It found that 40% more brokers were upbeat about the sector than pessimistic. This is a change in attitude from the previous quarter when the overall sentiment was negative by a net 27%. Brokers also witnessed growth in business volumes strengthen over the quarter, yet for the first time since 2011 they have predicted that volumes could likely fall over the next three months. Also, 3% believe growth will come from engaging in M&A transactions, while 60% feel it will come from new customers. The number of employed brokers grew for the first time in three quarters and headcount is thought to continue increasing in the first quarter of this year.