Index of Services, UK: August 2023

Movements in the volume of output for the UK services industries. Figures are seasonally adjusted.

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Release date:
12 October 2023

Next release:
10 November 2023

1. Main points   

  • Monthly services output is estimated to have increased by 0.4% in August 2023; this follows a decrease of 0.6% in July 2023 (revised downwards by 0.1 percentage points).

  • The Index of Services (IoS) saw monthly increases in 11 of the 14 sectors in August 2023; the largest contributing sectors to the monthly growth in August 2023 were "professional scientific and technical activities" (1.2%) and "education" (1.6%). 

  • The monthly August 2023 rise was partially offset by falls in both "arts, entertainment and recreation" and "other service activities", which saw decreases of 7.5% and 2.9%, respectively.

  • Looking at the longer-term, services output is estimated to have grown 0.1% for the three months to August 2023 compared with the three months to May 2023; the largest positive sector contributions to growths came from "wholesale and retail trade" (0.6%) and "information and communication" (0.6%).

  • The increase in the three months to August 2023 was partially offset by decreases in "real estate activities" (negative 0.4%) and "professional and scientific and technical activities" (negative 0.5%). 

  • This release provides data for August 2023 for the first time; in line with the National Accounts revision policy, this release also incorporates revisions to monthly data from January 1997 to June 2023 as published in our Gross domestic product (GDP) quarterly national accounts bulletin on 29 September 2023; July 2023 is also open to revision for the first time. 

  • Further analysis of the effect on our monthly IoS estimate is available in our GDP monthly estimate, UK: August 2023 bulletin, published 12 October 2023.

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2. Index of Services data   

Index of Services time series
Dataset | Dataset ID: IOS1 | Released 12 October 2023
Monthly movements in output for the services industries: distribution, hotels and restaurants; transport, storage and communication; business services and finance; and government and other services.

Monthly Business Survey turnover of services industries
Dataset | Released 12 October 2023
Monthly Business Survey services industries' total turnover – current price and non-seasonally adjusted, UK.

Index of Services, main components and sectors to four decimal places
Dataset | Released 12 October 2023
Monthly historical movements in output for services and their industry components, by chained volume indices of gross value added, UK.

Index of Services revisions triangles
Dataset | Released 12 October 2023
Monthly chained volume indices in gross value added for services and its main components.

For all data related to the Index of Services, see our Related data page.

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3. Measuring the data   

Data sources and collection    

The Index of Services (IoS) is compiled using data from several different sources (share of overall economy based on latest gross value added (GVA) weights):    

  • Office for National Statistics (ONS) Monthly Business Survey (34.1%)

  • ONS Retail Sales Inquiry (4.9%)

  • ONS Government Expenditure (14.8%)

  • ONS Households' Expenditure (11.5%)

  • ONS Finance Expenditure (5.7%)

  • ONS non-profit institutions serving households (1.9%)

  • Other (4.4%)

The Monthly Business Survey (MBS) data are published alongside this release in our MBS turnover of services industries dataset.

Data relating to the retail industry are broadly comparable with our Retail sales, Great Britain: August 2023 bulletin, published on 22 September 2023.

For further information on what is included within Other, please see the Gross domestic product by output (GDP(o)) data sources catalogue.

The percentage of each data source is based on their gross value-added weight. The GDP(o) methods and sources pages provide more information on the data that underpin these statistics; of particular note is the GDP(o) data sources catalogue.

From February 2018, Value Added Tax (VAT) data have also been included across 64 production industries for small and medium-sized businesses. For more information, see our VAT turnover data in National Accounts: background and methodology.

Quality and methodology    

More quality and methodology information on strengths, limitations, appropriate uses, and how the data were created is available in the Index of Services QMI.    

Additional bank holiday in May 2023 for the Coronation of King Charles III

There was an additional bank holiday for the coronation of King Charles III on Monday 8 May 2023. While adjustments are made for regular calendar effects, there was no explicit adjustment for this event. However, the timing of the bank holiday indirectly affects the number of trading days, which could affect GDP estimates positively or negatively, depending on the sector. This should be taken into account when interpreting monthly, and three-month movements over recent months since May 2023. 

Revisions to the Index of Services   

In line with the National Accounts revision policy, this release provides data for August 2023 for the first time, with revisions open for all other periods.

These revisions are consistent with the quarterly national accounts release that was published on 29 September 2023, and incorporates improved source data, updated seasonal adjustment parameters, and additional updated data as happens in all quarterly national accounts releases. This includes new VAT turnover data for Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2022 and Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2023. 

For further information on the updates to monthly GDP methods and data sources in Blue Book 2023, see Section 10: Measuring the data in our GDP monthly estimate, UK: August 2023 bulletin.

Office for Statistics Regulation review of GDP

The Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) completed a review of the practices around the preparation and release of information about revisions to estimates of GDP in our Impact of Blue Book 2023 article released on 1 September2023. This covers:

  • processes and quality assurance in making revisions to GDP

  • potential improvements to early estimates of GDP enabled through enhanced access to data

It also covers communication of:

  • revisions to GDP

  • the story behind the most recent set of revisions in particular

  • uncertainty in early estimates of GDP

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5. Cite this statistical bulletin

Office for National Statistics (ONS), released 12 October 2023, ONS website, statistical bulletin, Index of Services, UK: August 2023

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Contact details for this Statistical bulletin

John Allcoat
Telephone: +44 1633 456616