Index of Services, UK: December 2023

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

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Contact:
Email John Allcoat

Release date:
15 February 2024

Next release:
13 March 2024

1. Main points

  • Services output growth in Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2023 was estimated to have fallen 0.2% when compared with Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2023; this follows a fall of 0.2% in Quarter 3 2023.
  • The main negative contributing sectors in Quarter 4 2023 were “wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles” (down 0.6%), and “education” (down 0.8%).
  • The main positive contributing sectors in Quarter 4 2023 were “administrative and support services” (0.6%), and “human health and social work activities” (0.2%).
  • We estimate that monthly services output decreased by 0.1% in December 2023; this follows an increase of 0.2% in November 2023 (revised downward by 0.2 percentage points).
  • The Index of Services (IoS) saw monthly falls in 8 of the 14 sectors in December 2023, with “wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles” (down 1.9%) the main negative contributor, and a smaller negative contribution from “human health and social work activities” (down 0.9%), which was affected by industrial action.
  • This monthly fall in December 2023 was partially offset by growth in “professional, scientific and technical activities” (1.7%), and “arts, entertainment and recreation” (2.9%).
  • Services output growth in 2023 is estimated to have grown by 0.3%, this follows an increase of 5.6% in 2022.
  • For further and detailed analysis of the effect on our monthly IoS estimate, please see our Gross domestic product (GDP) monthly estimate, UK: December 2023 bulletin, published 15 February 2024.
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2. Index of Services data

Index of Services time series
Dataset | Dataset ID: IOS1 | Released 15 February 2024
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 15 February 2024
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 15 February 2024
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 15 February 2024
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 our Related data page.

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3. Measuring the data

Response rates for December 2023

For December 2023, the response rates were 70.3% based on forms returned, and this accounted for 80.9% of total turnover coverage of the sample population. For further information, see our Current and historical Monthly Business Survey (services) response rates dataset.

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 Households and 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: December 2023 bulletin, published on 19 January 2023.

For further information on what is included within Other, please see our GDP(o) data sources catalogue.

The percentage of each data source is based on their gross value-added weight. Our 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 our Index of Services QMI.

Revisions to IoS 

In line with the National Accounts revision policy, this release gives data for December 2023 for the first time, with January 2023 to November 2023 also open for revision.

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 September 2023. This covers:

  • processes and quality assurance in making revisions to GDP
  • potential improvements to early estimates of GDP enabled through enhanced access to data
  • communication of revisions to GDP and the story behind the most recent set of revisions, particularly uncertainty in early estimates of GDP

We published a response to the OSR review into GDP in January 2024, which was positively received by the OSR.

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5. Cite this statistical bulletin

Office for National Statistics (ONS), released 15 February 2024, ONS website, statistical bulletin, Index of Services, UK: December 2023

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Contact details for this Statistical bulletin

John Allcoat
ios.enquiries@ons.gov.uk
Telephone: +44 1633 456616