Index of Services, UK: October 2023

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

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Release date:
13 December 2023

Next release:
12 January 2024

1. Main points  

  • Services output growth for August to October 2023 was estimated to have risen by 0.1% when compared with May to July 2023.

  • The main positive contributing sectors over the three months to October 2023 were "professional, scientific and technical activities" (1.2%), "education" (1.1%) "human health and social work activities" (0.5%), with the latter two sections affected by recent industrial action.

  • The main negative contributing sectors over the three months to October 2023 were "other services activities" (down 2.6%) and "arts, entertainment and recreation" (down 1.8%).

  • We estimate that monthly services output has fallen by 0.2% in October 2023; this follows a rise of 0.2% in September 2023.

  • The Index of Services (IoS) saw monthly falls in 7 of the 14 sectors in October 2023; the largest negative contributing sectors were "information and communication" (down 1.7%), "professional, scientific and technical activities" (down 0.7%), and "education" (down 0.4%); this monthly fall in October 2023 was partially offset by increases in "administrative and support services activities" (0.7%) and "human health and social work activities" (0.4%).

  • For further and detailed analysis of the effect on our monthly IoS estimate, please see our GDP monthly estimate, UK: October 2023 bulletin published on 13 December 2023.

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2. Index of Services data  

Index of Services time series
Dataset | Dataset ID: IOS1 | Released 13 December2023 
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 13 December2023
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 13 December2023
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 13 December 2023
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 October 2023

For October 2023, the response rates were 70.7% based on forms returned, and this accounted for 85.6% of total turnover coverage of the sample population. For further information, see ourCurrent 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: October 2023 bulletin, published on 17 November 2023.   

For further information on what is included within "Other", please see our breakdown of all data sources that feed into the output measure of gross domestic product (GDP(o)) in our GDP(o) data sources catalogue.     

The percentage of each data source is based on their gross value-added weight. For more information on the data the underpin these statistics, see our GDP(o) methods and sources pages.

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 Quality and Methodology Information (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 Index of Services

In line with the National Accounts revision policy, this release provides data for October 2023 only. There are no previous periods open for revisions this month.

In the next IoS release, due to be published on 12 January 2024, revisions back to January 2022 will be seen in the dataset. This is to incorporate revisions that will be published as part of the GDP quarterly National Accounts bulletin, due to be published on 22 December 2023.

Updates to monthly GDP methods and data sources in Blue Book 2023

A number of changes have been made to the methods and data sources used in compiling monthly GDP and output approach to measuring GDP estimates as part of UK National Accounts, Blue Book 2023

For further information on the updates, see Section 9: Measuring the data in the GDP monthly estimate, UK: October 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

  • communication of revisions to GDP, the story behind the most recent set of revisions, and uncertainty in early estimates of GDP

We have already started work looking into the recommendations of this review and will set out plans more fully in January 2024. 

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5. Cite this statistical bulletin 

Office for National Statistics (ONS), released 13 December2023, ONS website, statistical bulletin, Index of Services, UK: October 2023

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Contact details for this Statistical bulletin

John Allcoat
Telephone: +44 1633 456616