The voluntary benefits industry remains positive about its near-term prospects.

The latest Voluntary Industry Confidence Index survey by Eastbridge Consulting Group, Avon, Conn., shows the mid-year index stands at 101, about where it was in mid-2006.

Overall, survey respondents remain optimistic about the outlook for voluntary products sales over the next 12 months, says Gil Lowerre, president of Eastbridge.

“Over 96% expect sales to increase, and 34% expect sales to ‘increase a lot,’” Lowerre says

None of the survey respondents said they expect voluntary sales to decrease over the next 12 months.

Survey participants include representatives of carriers, brokers, and vendors active in the worksite benefits market.