A new report confirmed the economic impact of July's's five-day event was valued at £916,420 - up 5% from last year.
And a survey of visitors showed 98% rated the festival, held from July 24 to 28, as "good" or "very good".
Councillor Gordon Matheson, chairman of the festival, said: "The Merchant City Festival is one of Glasgow's premier cultural events.
"This year's programme was incredibly ambitious and rightly so - we wanted to show that Glasgow is not just a city renowned for world class sporting events, but one that can more than match that on a cultural front.
"This research confirms that not only the people of Glasgow, but those from across the UK and indeed even further afield, were delighted with what they experienced.
"A satisfaction rating of 98% is something to be proud of, but it does leave a little room for improvement."
The report, conducted by consultancy firm EKOS, also showed 17% of visitors to the arts and culture celebration were tourists.
Of these, every one rated Glasgow as either a "good" or "very good" tourist destination.
More than 100 events and performances were staged during the festival, drawing more than 100,000 people to the city's cultural quarter.
One of the highlights was the Scottish debut of designers Wayne and Geraldine Hemingway's Vintage Festival.
Celebrating seven decades of style, it saw a range of retro-themed events take over Candleriggs, the Old Fruitmarket and City Halls on July 27 and 28.
Wayne said Vintage had been such a success it will now return in 2014. He said: "We are delighted with how well Vintage's Scottish debut went.
"We announced that Vintage would be a real highlight, helping to attract a new audience and giving regulars something fresh to get excited about and the research results announced today confirm that we made good on that promise.
"We are already in discussion about how we can bring an even bigger Vintage back to Glasgow in 2014."
The Merchant City Festival also hosted the Glasgow 2014 One Year to Go Celebration and a major showcase of international work by some of Europe's finest street theatre groups.
Bosses also highlighted the importance of social media during this year's festival, with results showing one in four visitors found out about the event online.
Mr Matheson added: "What I am most excited about is that for half of the festival-goers who joined us for an incredible weekend, this was their first experience of an arts event.
"This festival epitomises all that is good about Glasgow. It is ambitious, diverse, exciting and fun.
"It provides opportunities for those who think art might not be for them to get involved and give it a go and this research confirms that many people grab that opportunity with both hands.
"What's more, almost all say that enjoying the Merchant City Festival will encourage them to go on and try similar events in the future.
"That is good for the individual and for building a greater audience for arts in Glasgow."
Vintage Glasgow attracted more than two-fifths of all the visitors, selling out club events and workshops as well as a make-up and beauty salon and marketplace.
Visitors were invited to comment on their current attendance at arts events, activities and exhibitions.
For just fewer than half of visitors - 45% - the festival was their first experience of an arts event.
Almost all - 95% - of visitors said they were 'very likely' or 'likely' to attend similar events in the future as a result of their experience at the Merchant City Festival.
The outdoor markets were the most popular attraction at the Festival, with the Come and Try Commonwealth Sports event attracting more than one-fifth of visitors,
The biggest area for improvement highlighted was a lack of printed information.
Mr Matheson added: "Some 17,000 people accessed the Festival website, which is a great way to get up-to-the minute programme information, but, for me, nothing beats a good old-fashion paper programme.
"We will of course take on board the comments about increasingly the availability of printed literature.
"And I am pleased to confirm that as the Merchant City Festival will play a big role in our cultural offering during the Commonwealth Games, we will most certainly have more stalls and a wider selection of events."