The latest Bank of Ireland Economic Pulse dipped slightly in May with business sentiment down and consumer sentiment rising.

The Economic Pulse, which combines the results of the Consumer and Business Pulses, stood at 90.2 in May. This was down 1.1 points on last month and 7.3 lower than a year ago.

Bank of Ireland said that Brexit news flow dried up considerably over Easter, which provided some breathing space for households and helped to lift their mood this month. 

It noted that the Consumer Pulse stood at 88.8 in May, 5.3 points higher than last month but 10.4 lower than a year ago. 

During the month, households upgraded their assessment of the economy's prospects and were also slightly more positive about their own finances. 

Buying sentiment improved up as well, with 36% considering it a good time to purchase big ticket items like furniture and electrical goods compared to 32% in April.

Seven in ten consumers are also planning on spending the same or more on holidays this year compared with last year.

However, Bank of Ireland said that the business sentiment softened as non-labour input costs rose for nearly half of firms. The Business Pulse came in at 90.6 in May, down 2.7 on last month and 6.6 lower than a year ago.

But the sectoral picture was mixed with a fall in the services and construction sectors, while the retail and industry sectors advanced.

Bank of Ireland also said its Housing Pulse rose to 102.7 in May from 96.9 in April. 

Today's survey shows that the share of households expecting house prices to increase over the coming year rose in all regions.

Dr Loretta O'Sullivan, Bank of Ireland's group chief economist, said that the onset of summer, combined with a lull in Brexit news appeared to lift the mood among consumers. 

"The dip in Brexit news has come to a dramatic end in recent days though, culminating with Prime Minister May's resignation last Friday," Dr O'Sullivan said.

"But the question of how, when and if Brexit will be delivered remains as unclear as ever, which means continued uncertainty ahead and increased volatility for the pound, which has already weakened," the economist added.