-2.1 on previous index reading
At 90.8 in August 2021, the Business Pulse was down 2.1 on July’s reading but 29.9 higher than a year ago. While the Retail Pulse rose this month, the Construction Pulse moved sideways and the Industry and Services Pulses softened. Not only are the big gains from the re-opening of the economy mostly behind us, but businesses are grappling with pandemic and post-Brexit related bottlenecks. These are having spill-over effects, with 88% of builders, 78% of firms in industry, 58% of retailers and 53% of services firms reporting an increase in non-labour input costs over the past three months (all of which are near or series highs), and many saying that they are likely to hike selling prices in the period ahead.