- Services output increased by 0.2% between March and April 2017.
- The largest contribution to the month-on-month growth came from distribution, hotels and restaurants, which contributed 0.20 percentage points of which retail trade contributed 0.17 percentage points.
- In the 3 months to April 2017, services output increased by 0.2% compared with the 3 months ending January 2017.
- The slowdown in 3-month on 3-month growth since October 2016 is driven mainly by the distribution, hotels and restaurants, and the transport, storage and communication components.
The monthly Index of Services (IoS) provides a timely indicator of growth in the output of the services industries and is the largest contributor to the output approach to the measurement of gross domestic product (GDP), accounting for 78.8% of UK GDP in 2013.
The IoS measures the UK output in: distribution, hotels and restaurants; transport, storage and communication; business services and finance; and government and other services. These data are used to produce seasonally adjusted estimates of output at chained volume measures (removing the effect of inflation). Unless otherwise stated, all estimates included in this release are based on seasonally adjusted data.
Data relating to the retail industry are broadly comparable with Retail sales in Great Britain: Apr 2017, published on 18 May 2017.
This April 2017 release contains revisions from January 2017. This means that we have incorporated additional data since this period.
Revisions can be made for a variety of reasons, the most common include:
- late responses to surveys and administrative sources
- forecasts being replaced by actual data
- revisions to seasonal adjustment factors, which are re-estimated every month and reviewed annually
This revisions period is consistent with the National Accounts Revisions Policy.
The UK Index of Services has been designated by the UK Statistics Authority as National Statistics, in accordance with the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 and signifying compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.Back to table of contents
Table 1 shows data for the Index of Services (IoS) and each of the main components for April 2017.
Table 1: Index of Services main figures, April 2017
|Description||Percentage of Services1||Index number (2013 = 100)||Most recent month on a year earlier||Most recent 3 months on a year earlier||Most recent month on previous month||Most recent 3 months on previous 3 months|
|Index of Services||100.0||110.8||2.3||2.3||0.2||0.2|
|Distribution, hotels and restaurants||17.3||118.4||4.1||3.8||1.1||0.4|
|Transport, storage and communication||13.5||112.4||2.8||3.4||-0.7||-0.4|
|Business services and finance||40.3||111.4||2.0||2.2||0.2||0.3|
|Government and other services||29.0||104.8||1.3||1.2||0.1||0.2|
|Source: Office for National Statistics|
|1. Components may not sum to 100% due to rounding.|
Download this table Table 1: Index of Services main figures, April 2017.xls (27.6 kB)
Figure 1 shows the seasonally adjusted index time series for the IoS over the past decade; this shows continued services growth following the economic downturn. The monthly IoS series can be volatile and therefore we recommend that monthly growths are viewed in the context of the longer-term trend and 3-month on 3-month growth rates.
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During April 2017, services output increased by 0.2% following a rise of 0.3% during March 2017.
Figure 2 shows the pattern of Index of Services (IoS) headline growth rates since January 2015 and Figure 3 shows the month-on-month contributions of each of the main IoS components.
Three of the four main components of the services industries increased in the most recent month compared with the previous month. In order of their contribution to growth:
- distribution, hotels and restaurants increased by 1.1%, contributing 0.20 percentage points
- business services and finance increased by 0.2%, contributing 0.08 percentage points
- government and other services increased by 0.1%, contributing 0.02 percentage points
In contrast, transport, storage and communication decreased by 0.7%, contributing negative 0.10 percentage points.
The main industry impacting distribution, hotels and restaurants was retail trade, which increased by 2.3% and contributed 0.17 percentage points to headline growth. Anecdotal evidence from retailers suggests that good weather contributed to growth. Please see the Retail Sales - April 2017 release for more information.
In addition, accommodation activities grew by 5.2%, contributing 0.05 percentage points to headline growth.
Other industries contributing to the 0.2% rise in April were:
- telecommunications, which increased by 4.6%, contributing 0.09 percentage points
- wholesale trade, which increased by 1.1%, contributing 0.05 percentage points
- office administration, which increased by 2.5%, contributing 0.04 percentage points
This was offset by a 10.4% decrease in motion pictures, which fell back from a high March, and a 3.5% decrease in motor trades, contributing negative 0.12 and negative 0.10 percentage points respectively.Back to table of contents
Figure 4 shows that services output increased by 0.2% in the 3 months ending April 2017 when compared with the 3 months ending January 2017.
Three of the four main components of the services industries increased during the most recent 3 months to April 2017 compared with the previous 3 months to January 2017. This, however, shows a slowdown since October 2016. In order of their contribution to growth:
- business services and finance increased by 0.3%, contributing 0.14 percentage points
- distribution, hotels and restaurants increased by 0.4%, contributing 0.07 percentage points
- government and other services increased by 0.2%, contributing 0.06 percentage points
In contrast, transport, storage and communication decreased by 0.4%, contributing negative 0.06 percentage points.
Office administration was the main contributior to growth in the business services and finance sector, increasing by 5.4% and contributing 0.09 percentage points to the rise. Accounting activities and imputed rent both contributed 0.05 percentage points to the rise, increasing by 3.6% and 0.4% respectively. Advertising and market research partially offset some of this and decreased by 5.2%, contributing negative 0.05 percentage points.
Food and beverage activities were the largest contributor to the 0.4% growth in distribution, hotels and restaurants, increasing by 3.4%. Government and other services grew by 0.2%, with the largest contributor, human health activities increasing by 0.5%.
In contrast, the negative growth in transport, storage and communication, was due primarily to a 6.5% decrease in publishing activities and a 2.3% decrease in telecommunications, with both contributing negative 0.05 percentage points.
More detail on individual components can be found in the Index of Services publication tables dataset.Back to table of contents
Figure 5 shows services output increased by 2.3% in April 2017 compared with April 2016, following growth of 2.7% in March 2017 compared with March 2016.
All four of the main components of the services industries increased in the most recent month compared with the same month last year. In order of their contribution to growth:
- business services and finance increased by 2.0%, contributing 0.81 percentage points
- distribution, hotels and restaurants increased by 4.1%, contributing 0.75 percentage points
- transport, storage and communication increased by 2.8%, contributing 0.38 percentage points
- government and other services increased by 1.3%, contributing 0.36 percentage points
Industries contributing to the 2.3% rise in April were:
- food and beverage service activities, which increased by 10.8%, contributing 0.29 percentage points
- retail trade, which increased by 3.7%, contributing 0.28 percentage points
- computer programming, which increased by 5.8%, contributing 0.21 percentage points
With a weight of 78.8% in 2013, the services industries are the largest industrial grouping in the output approach to measuring gross domestic product (GDP).
Also published today (30 June 2017) is the Quarterly National Accounts: Jan to Mar 2017, reporting that GDP in Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2017, increased by 0.2% compared with the previous quarter, and is unrevised from the previous estimate. The services aggregate was the dominant contributor to the quarter-on-quarter percentage change in GDP, contributing 0.09 percentage points. Production, construction and agriculture contributed 0.01, 0.07 and 0.00 percentage points respectively to the headline figure.Back to table of contents
Since the introduction of the new economic theme days, this bulletin follows a more streamlined format and some tables such as response rates and revisions, previously found in the background notes, can now be found in the main datasets.
In response to feedback from our users, a new table has been added to the main datasets. This table displays monthly chained volume indices for services and its main components to four decimal places.
Monthly economic commentary was published alongside this release, presenting new analysis on the latest economic data.
We welcome your feedback on this new-style bulletin via our short survey.Back to table of contents
The monthly Index of Services (IoS) was developed to provide a timely indicator of growth in the output of services industries, at constant prices for the UK. The IoS is an important component of monthly output (GDP(O)), representing about 78.8% of UK gross domestic product (GDP) as of 2013. The IoS shares the exact same industry coverage as the corresponding quarterly series within GDP(O).
The Index of Services datasets contain additional material, including:
- Monthly Business Survey response rates
- publication tables
- revisions triangles
- lower-level time series data
The Index of Services Quality and Methodology Information document contains important information on:
- the strengths and limitations of the data and how it compares with related data
- uses and users of the data
- how the output was created
- the quality of the output including the accuracy of the data
Contact details for this Statistical bulletin
Telephone: +44 (0)1633 456387