Index of Services, UK: November 2021

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

This is not the latest release. View latest release

This is an accredited National Statistic. Click for information about types of official statistics.

Email Sarah Brookes

Release date:
14 January 2022

Next release:
11 February 2022

1. Main points

  • Monthly services output grew by 0.7% between October 2021 and November 2021 to reach a level that is 1.3% above February 2020, the last month of "normal" trading conditions prior to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

  • There were rises in 11 of the 14 sectors in the Index of Services. The largest contribution to growth was from professional scientific and technical activities, which contributed 0.2 percentage points to growth in the Index of Services; there were no notable falls.

  • Transport and storage provided the second largest contribution to growth, with postal and courier activities and warehousing and support activities for transportation seeing increases, linked to reported stronger than usual retail sales around Black Friday.

  • Services output for the three months to November 2021 rose by 1.3% compared with the three months to August 2021. Over this period, the largest contributor was human health and social work activities, which grew by 3.3%. 

  • 8 of the 14 services sub sectors have now surpassed their pre-pandemic levels, with the largest increase from February 2020 being human health and social work activities (12.0%), whereas other service activities which includes hairdressers and other beauty treatments, remain 20.8% below their pre COVID-19 level.

  • 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: November 2021, which was published on 14 January 2022. 

Back to table of contents

2. Index of Services data

Index of Services time series
Dataset | Dataset ID: IOS1 | Released 14 January 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 14 January 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 14 January 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 14 January 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.

Back to table of contents

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 2021, published on 17 December 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 impacted 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 email the Media Relations Office.

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.

There is further information about NSCASE available to view.

Back to table of contents

Contact details for this Statistical bulletin

Sarah Brookes
Telephone: +44 1633 456980