Business sentiment fell to a near-two year low in October, according to Bank of Ireland's latest economic pulse survey.

The business reading stood at 64.2 in the month, down 13.6 points on September.

It came as a result of weakening sentiment in the services, retail and industry sectors, as demand softened and uncertainty increased.

However growth ambitions amongst Irish firms remained steady, with half of respondents planning to grow in the next 1-3 years.

During October the consumer sentiment rose, according to Bank of Ireland, gaining 3.7 points to hit 45.8.

Households appeared less pessimistic about their finances, in part due to the cost-of-living measures announced in Budget 2023.

However consumers remained cautious, with just 14% of respondents saying now was a good time to make a large purchase.

With the business and consumer surveys combined, the overall economic pulse reading was down to 60.5 in October

That's 10.1 points lower in the month and 27.1 points lower year-on-year.