The Conference Board Measure of CEO Confidence rallied to 62 in the fourth quarter, up from 50 in the third quarter.

“The bounce back in CEO confidence signals that the cloud of pessimism that prevailed in the third quarter has lifted, and CEOs are once again optimistic,” said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Research Center. “The improvement in both current and future conditions suggests a strong finish to 2010 and continued growth in the first half of 2011.”

In addition, 56% of CEOs say that current economic conditions are better than six months ago, up from 32% last quarter, and 55% say conditions have improved, up from 38%.

And their outlook for economic conditions over the next six months is vastly improved, with 56% expecting business to increase, up from 22% last quarter. Asked about their own industry, 51% expect conditions to improve in the months ahead, up from 28%.