The Index of Services increased by 3.2% in December 2013 compared with December 2012. In order of their contribution to growth: business services & finance increased by 3.5%; distribution, hotels & restaurants increased by 5.8%; transport, storage & communication increased by 2.9%; and government & other services increased by 1.3%.
The latest Index of Services estimates show that output increased by 0.2% between November 2013 and December 2013, following an increase of 0.5% between October 2013 and November 2013.
In recent years, services have followed a slightly different path from gross domestic product (GDP) overall. Growth in the Index of Services since 2010 has reversed the decline seen in 2008 and 2009; in August 2013, the Index of Services surpassed its previous peak level recorded in February 2008. By contrast, the Second Estimate of GDP for Q4 2013 estimates that GDP has remained 1.4% below the previous peak; the difference is primarily due to weakness in the construction and production industries during 2011 and 2012.
Since 2009, all four of the industry groupings have experienced growth, but with different patterns. The distribution, hotels & restaurants industries experienced particularly slow growth prior to Q3 2012, but has generally grown rapidly since then, reversing the majority of the fall in output since its peak in September 2007. Conversely, the transport, storage & communication industries grew strongly in 2010 and 2013, but output was stagnant for most of 2011 and 2012. Output in the business services & finance industries has grown more steadily, and is now 2.6% above the pre-downturn peak in February 2008. The government & other services industries, meanwhile, showed slow but largely steady growth.
Source: Office for National Statistics
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