The mood among consumers and businesses has fallen this month over fears about the impact of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

That's according to the latest Economic Pulse survey from Bank of Ireland.

The pulse stands at 79.9 this month – down 3.4 points on November.

That is its worst reading in nine months, but is 9.7 points higher than December 2020.

All four areas of business measured by BoI recorded a fall in sentiment in the month, however the services sector had the lowest reading.

Meanwhile the consumer reading was down for a third month in a row, with the mood around the economic outlook and the labour market slipping.

Uncertainty about the path of the virus and whether further mitigating actions will need to be taken also contributed to the broad-based nervousness evident in December’s survey results, with households worried about the economy and firms worried about business activity," said Bank of Ireland’s group chief economist Dr Loretta O’Sullivan.

"Looking ahead to 2022, pandemic headwinds are likely to be a feature of the January data too, though the acceleration of the vaccine booster campaign should start to pay some dividends as we move into the New Year."