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It’s your party, have more if you want to

If you’re looking for signs that the economy is improving, counting the number of times you find yourself making small talk while balancing a drink, hors d’oeuvres and a napkin may not rate up there with real estate prices and employment numbers. But, for what it’s worth, caterers say their business for corporate events is up this year.

In a survey by the Columbia-based National Association for Catering and Events, a majority of those in the industry report booking more events this year than last.

“We are hearing anecdotally, and now quantifiably here in our survey, that this will be a record year for many in the catering and event industry,” Bonnie Fedchock, executive director of the association, said in a news release. “We think that this is a mini-barometer of the overall economy, and we are optimistic for a complete turnaround in our industry.”

Among respondents to the survey, 58.7 percent said they are performing better in the area of corporate events in 2014 than in 2013.

About 42 to 44 percent indicated growth in other social events.