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Index of Services Methods

This page is currently under review as part of the GDP Output Improvement Programme (226.7 Kb Pdf) .

The Index of Services (IoS) shows the monthly movements in gross value added for the service industries. Service industries overall account for around 76 per cent of UK Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and includes private sector and government services.

The IoS Statistical Bulletin brings together in one place all monthly information on services.

Gross value added (GVA) is an important element in measuring the economy. GVA for the service industries is the difference between the value of a service provided (output), and the value of the goods and services used up in providing that service (intermediate consumption).

The IoS shows how this difference in value changes from month to month.

The index is estimated using the same data sources and National Accounts methodology as the quarterly estimate of service industries' gross value added within the well established output measure of Gross Domestic Product (GDP(O)).

The IoS, between December 2000 and February 2007, was published as an experimental series. The main reason for the experimental label was that a large scale development programme to improve the short-term measurement of the service sector was launched at the same time as the launch of the IoS.

The IoS was published to inform users of progress made and to seek feedback on the indicators and the planned work programme.

The IoS, in March 2007, was reclassified from experimental to National Statistic status. This was in response to the significant methodological improvements made to the IoS as part of the IoS Development programme.

This decision was made following a robust evaluation programme conducted by ONS methodological experts in index numbers, prices and deflation and sample design and estimation.

Further details can be found in the IoS Evaluation report.

The IoS development programme continues, and further improvements will be made to the data sources and methods used to measure the IoS and the service sector element of GDP(O).

As the improvement of each industry is implemented, a report of the findings is published in the Future Improvements section within the IoS Methodology page.

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