Index of Services, UK: November 2020

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

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Contact:
Email Mark Stephens

Release date:
15 January 2021

Next release:
12 February 2021

1. Main points

  • There was a fall of 3.4% in the Index of Services between October 2020 and November 2020; the largest contribution to monthly growth was accommodation and food service activities, falling by 44.0%.

  • The 3.4% fall in November 2020 is the third-largest fall since records began in January 1997; there were larger falls of 17.0% in April 2020 and 7.9% in March 2020.

  • In November 2020, the Index of Services was 9.9% below February 2020, the previous month of "normal" trading conditions, prior to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

  • Total services output increased by 3.7% for the three months to November 2020, compared with the three months to August 2020; this was led by education, rising by 13.8%.

  • Services output between the three months to November 2019 and the three months to November 2020 decreased by 8.3%; this was led by accommodation and food service activities, falling by 40.4%.

  • The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic had a significant negative impact on output of the services industries during November 2020; for further and detailed analysis of the effect on our monthly Index of Services estimate, please see our article Coronavirus and the impact on output in the UK economy, UK: November 2020, published today (15 January 2021).

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2. Index of Services data

Index of Services time series
Dataset | Dataset ID: IOS1 | Released 15 January 2021
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 January 2021
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 January 2021
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 January 2021
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: November 2020, published on 18 December 2020.

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

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.

More about economy, business and jobs

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.

Leaving the EU

As the transition period ends and the UK enters into a new Trade and Cooperation Agreement with the EU, the UK statistical system will continue to produce and publish our wide range of economic and social statistics and analysis. We are committed to continued alignment with the highest international statistical standards, enabling comparability both over time and internationally, and ensuring the general public, statistical users and decision makers have the data they need to be informed.

Additionally, the Withdrawal Agreement outlines a need for UK gross national income (a fundamental component of the national accounts, which includes GDP) statistics to remain in line with those of other EU countries until EU budget contributions are finalised for the years in which we were a member, and making budget contributions during the transition period. To ensure this comparability during this period, the national accounts will continue to be produced according to European System of Accounts (ESA) 2010 definitions and standards until at least 2024.

As the shape of the UK's future statistical relationship with the EU becomes clearer over the coming period, the ONS is making preparations to assume responsibilities that as part of our membership of the EU, and during the transition period, were delegated to the statistical office of the EU, Eurostat. This includes responsibilities relating to international comparability of economic statistics, deciding what international statistical guidance to apply in the UK context and to provide further scrutiny of our statistics and sector classification decisions.

In applying international statistical standards and best practice to UK economic statistics, we will draw on the technical advice of experts in the UK and internationally, and our work will be underpinned by the UK's well-established and robust framework for independent official statistics, set out in the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007. Further information on our proposals will be made available early this year.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Monthly Business Survey 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 Index of Services comes from within the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and therefore will be less impacted than survey data.

Our latest data and analysis on the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the UK economy and population is now available on anew webpage. This will be the hub for all special virus-related publications, drawing on all available data.

The ONS has released a public statement on the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the production of statistics. Specific queries must be directed to the Media Relations Office.

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Contact details for this Statistical bulletin

Mark Stephens
ios.enquiries@ons.gov.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)1633 456387