+2.8 on previous index reading
The Business Pulse stood at 84.6 in December 2019, up 2.8 on last month but down 3.5 on a year ago. While the headline index rose for a third consecutive month, the picture was mixed across the sectors with the Services and Construction Pulses posting firmer readings, whereas the Industry Pulse eased back as did the Retail Pulse (the latter comes after a big jump in November). The December survey also finds that the bulk of firms do not expect to change their near-term selling prices, despite the fact that almost two in five reported a rise in non-labour input costs over the past 3 months. Going forward Brexit developments will be important, inter alia, for business investment which uncertainty has been keeping in check.