Almost half of Irish workers - 48% - expect a pay rise this year, according to the latest Bank of Ireland Economic Pulse Survey.

The survey suggests many of them will receive one as 44% of employers are also planning on increasing basic wages. This is compared to 37% in the same month last year.

Overall, the Bank of Ireland Economic Pulse came in at 92.8 in January, broadly unchanged on the same time last year.

Bank of Ireland said that a general improvement in sentiment took the consumer element of the pulse to a two year high this month.

The bank noted that while some of this month's improvement was 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. 

Bank of Ireland said that the business pulse stood at 91 in January, a little weaker than the same month last year. 

But companies in all sectors upgraded their near-term expectations for business activity, with those in industry, services and construction also more upbeat on employment prospects.

Meanwhile, the housing element of the survey was more or less flat on the month, though it was higher than this time last year.

Bank of Ireland noted that further house price inflation is expected this month as demand continues to outpace supply. 

48% of survey respondents consider it a good time to buy and 59% think it is a good time to sell. 

Dr Loretta O'Sullivan, group chief economist at Bank of Ireland said that the "mood music was positive this month".

Dr O'Sullivan said that data published by the CSO and the Department of Finance in recent weeks have shown that the economy is doing well and that the public finances remain on track. 

"January also saw the changes to social welfare payments and income taxes announced in Budget 2018 come into effect and while Brexit worries haven’t gone away, they took more of a back seat this month as attention turned to a possible transition period," she said. 

"As a result, the Economic Pulse started the new year on a positive note, with consumer confidence posting a two year high and business sentiment up on December’s reading," she added.