-2.5 on previous index reading
The Business Pulse stood at 60.9 in August 2020, down 2.5 on last month and 19.0 lower than a year ago. While firms reported an improvement in trading conditions over the past three months and the stimulus package announced by the Government in late July includes a range of business supports, the failure to green-light phase 4 of the re-opening roadmap put a dent in the mood. The local lockdowns in Kildare, Laois and Offaly and fears that similar steps might be taken elsewhere added to concerns, with firms paring back their expectations for activity over the coming three months. The August survey also points to some pick-up in non-labour input costs in the recent period, though most businesses expect to keep their near-term selling prices the same.