Index of Services, UK: December 2021

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

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Release date:
11 February 2022

Next release:
11 March 2022

1. Main points

  • Monthly services output fell by 0.5% between November 2021 and December 2021, reaching a level that is 0.5% above February 2020, which was the last month of "normal" trading conditions prior to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
  • There were falls in 7 of the 14 sectors in the Index of Services.
  • The largest contributions to fall were from wholesale and retail trade, which contributed 0.42 percentage points; accommodation and food service activities contributed a further 0.35 percentage points to the decrease to Index of Services; this was partially offset by human health and social work activities, which contributed a positive 0.26 percentage points in the Index of Services.
  • 5 of the 14 services sub sectors have now surpassed their pre-coronavirus pandemic levels, with the largest increase from February 2020 being human health and social work activities (13.6%), whereas other services activities, which include hairdressers and other beauty treatments, remain 21.1% below their pre-coronavirus pandemic level.
  • Services output for Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2021 rose by 1.2%, compared with Quarter 3 (Jul to Sept) 2021; over this period, the largest contributor was human health and social work activities, which grew by 4.5%.
  • The coronavirus pandemic and other events have changed output in the services industries, although each sector has been affected differently; for further and detailed analysis of the effect on our monthly Index of Services estimate, please see our article GDP monthly estimate, UK: December 2021, which was published on 11 February 2022.
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2. Index of Services data

Index of Services time series
Dataset | Dataset ID: IOS1 | Released 11 February 2022
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 11 February 2022
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 11 February 2022
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 11 February 2022
Monthly chained volume indices in gross-value added for services and its main components.

All data related to the Index of Services are available on the 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:

  • ONS: Monthly Business Survey (44.4%)
  • ONS: Retail Sales Inquiry (6.4%)
  • ONS: Government Expenditure (20.1%)
  • ONS: Households' Expenditure (15.3%)
  • ONS: Finance Expenditure (7.8%)
  • Other (5.9%

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

Data relating to the retail industry are broadly comparable with Retail sales, Great Britain: December 2021, published on 21 January 2021.

For further information on what is included within Other, please see the 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 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.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Office for National Statistics' (ONS’) Monthly Business Survey (MBS) is fully online, meaning that business owners can log on from any location and submit their data at an appropriate time. Most other data in the IoS come from within the ONS and therefore will be less affected than survey data.

Our latest data and analysis on the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on the UK economy and population is now available on a new coronavirus web page. This will be the hub for all special coronavirus-related publications, including the fortnightly Business Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survey (BICS).

The ONS has released a public statement on COVID-19 and the production of statistics. If you have specific queries, you can contact the Media Relations Office by email at

Economic statistics governance after EU exit

Following the UK's exit from the EU, new governance arrangements are being put in place that will support the adoption and implementation of high-quality standards for UK economic statistics. These governance arrangements will promote international comparability and add to the credibility and independence of the UK's statistical system.

At the centre of this new governance framework will be the new National Statistician's Committee for Advice on Standards for Economic Statistics (NSCASE). NSCASE will support the UK by ensuring its processes for influencing and adopting international statistical standards are world leading. The advice NSCASE provides to the National Statistician will span the full range of domains in economic statistics. This includes the National Accounts, fiscal statistics, prices, trade, and the balance of payments and labour market statistics.

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Contact details for this Statistical bulletin

Sarah Brookes
Telephone: +44 1633 456980