+2.5 on previous index reading
The Business Pulse stood at 71.2 in December 2020, up 2.5 on last month but down 13.4 on a year ago. Unsurprisingly, the re-opening of non-essential retail / services businesses and the loosening of restrictions on the hospitality sector in the run up to Christmas lifted the Retail and Services Pulses. The Industry Pulse also rose this month, albeit more modestly – firms in Brexit-exposed indigenous sectors were more circumspect about near-term prospects for business activity – while uncertainty was a concern for larger building firms which weighed on the Construction Pulse. The December survey also finds that 22% of businesses expect to raise their selling prices in the next three months, in part because more red tape in trade with the UK (even with a deal) is set to add to costs.