+3.8 on previous index reading
The Business Pulse stood at 92.7 in May 2021, up 3.8 on last month’s reading and 51.3 higher than a year ago. All four sectoral Pulses were firmer this month as the re-opening of the economy progresses. Less positively though, the May data point to growing inflationary pressures, with 78% of construction firms, 67% of firms in industry and 48% of retailers reporting an increase in non-labour input costs in the past three months. These are all series highs and owe much to post-Brexit red tape (with rising global commodity prices also a factor for some). Moreover, some pass-through to consumers looks to be on the cards – just over two thirds of builders and almost half of firms in industry and retail indicated that they expect to raise their selling prices in the near term.