+11.9 on previous index reading
The Business Pulse recovered some ground in May 2020, coming in at 41.5. This was up 11.9 on last month’s all-time low but down 49.1 on a year ago. While firms in the four sectors were extremely downbeat about the recent trading period and remained gloomy about near-term prospects for business activity and hiring, the proposed timetable for the lifting of the COVID-19 restrictions has provided some clarity, prompting them to take a slightly less negative view of the outlook this month. The May survey also finds that non-labour input cost pressures have softened over the past three months, and points to downward pressure on selling prices in the period ahead amid generally muted consumer demand.