Businesses upbeat despite Brexit worry
The overall Economic Pulse reading in July stood at 96.6, up 0.2 points on the June figure and 6.9 points higher than the reading taken following the UK referendum to leave the European Union last year.
The overall figure remains lower than its pre-Brexit reading, however.
The survey queries 2,000 businesses and 1,000 households on topics including the economy, spending plans, financial position, house price expectations and business plans.
Bank of Ireland said that the Business Pulse reading was 93.4 in July, 2.4 points higher than in June and up 1.8 points on July 2016. The rise this month makes for the fourth consecutive monthly increase in the reading, with bigger firms more positive than their smaller counterparts.
Loretta O’Sullivan, group chief economist at Bank of Ireland, said that one in three firms surveyed was planning on increasing basic pay in the next 12 months, while two in five workers were expecting a pay rise.
“While Brexit is a worry for many firms and the related uncertainty has taken a toll on sentiment, two in three businesses still have ambitions to expand over the next one to three years,” she said.
Unsurprisingly, with house prices spiralling upwards, the cost of buying a home is the main barrier for people purchasing a property, the survey found.
The cost of buying is also prompting existing home owners to spend more renovating their properties. Recent data from the Central Statistics Office also highlighted that trend.
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