+5.3 on previous index reading
The Consumer Pulse gained ground in January 2018, coming in at 100. This was up 5.3 on last month’s reading and 5.6 on a year ago. Households upgraded their assessment of the economy this month and, to a lesser extent, their own financial situation. With the post-Christmas sales underway, they were also more upbeat about the buying climate (41% considered it the right time to make major purchases like furniture and electrical goods compared with 34% in December). While some of the improvement this month is due to seasonal effects, the Budget day changes to social welfare payments and income taxes lined pockets in January, as did the rise in the national minimum wage, which helped lift the mood.