The annual rate of growth for the Services Producer Price Index (SPPI) was 1.7% in Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2019, up from 1.6% in Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2018.
The price of services sold by UK companies rose 0.6% in Quarter 1 2019, up from 0.1% in Quarter 4 2018.
Transportation and storage services provided the largest upward contribution to the annual rate, and information and communication provided the largest upward contribution to the quarterly rate.
From the next release in July 2019, we will make improvements to the series for repair and maintenance of motor vehicles, by replacing the underlying Retail Prices Index data with Consumer Prices Index data. The Retail Prices Index does not meet the required standard for designation as a National Statistic. The two series will be linked with no discontinuity and we will apply this change from Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2019.
Many important improvements to Services Producer Price Indices (SPPIs) have been implemented in this release. These included changing the scope of the survey to measure business-to-all activity as well as expanding the survey coverage to the whole of the UK. All of these changes are described in the November 2016 article Improvements to the Import and Export Price Indices (IPI and EPI) and Services Producer Price Indices (SPPI). The Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) four-digit indices within this final wave of improvements are:
37, 51.11, 61.1, 62, 63, 68.2, 68.3, 69.1, 69.2, 70.22, 71.11, 71.12, 71.2, 73.12, 73.2, 74.2 and 74.3.
The SPPI provides a measure of inflation for the UK services sector. It is constructed from a statutory quarterly survey, which measures changes in the price of services provided to UK-based customers for a range of industries. Individual SPPIs are available, which provide information on price change for a selection of services industries. These individual price indices are also aggregated together to create a services industry SPPI with limited coverage (it does not provide full coverage of the “services sector”).
The services sector is estimated to account for around 80% of the UK economy based on its weight in gross domestic product (GDP). We do not produce an index for every industry in the services sector and so the SPPI is a partial, best, estimate of the overall inflation to UK businesses in the services sector. The SPPIs presented in this statistical bulletin are estimated to represent 59% of the total services sector at industry level. The SPPI's coverage of the services sector at Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) class, division and section level is available in the SPPI user guidance and methodology article.
As resources allow, we will continue to review the existing indices and expand coverage through developing indices for new industries. As such, the SPPI will change composition from time to time but will always remain our best estimate of inflation in the UK services sector. You should consider that coverage may change over time when deciding which indices best meet your needs.
The figures presented in this statistical bulletin are considered provisional for the latest two quarters and may be revised as late data are received.
All figures presented in this statistical bulletin are calculated on a gross sector basis unless otherwise stated and all index numbers exclude Value Added Tax (VAT). None of the indices presented in this bulletin are seasonally adjusted.
Every five years, SPPIs are rebased and their weights updated to reflect changes in industry.Back to table of contents
The Services Producer Price Index (SPPI) has reported positive growth for most of the period across the past 10 years (Figure 1). SPPI annual growth fell from 0.5% in Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2009 to a negative 1.3% in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2009, before returning to more typical growth from early 2010. Since Quarter 1 2010, the annual rate has averaged 1.2%. The annual inflation rate in the latest quarter was above the average for the period, at 1.7%.
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The Services Producer Price Index (SPPI) rose to 1.7% on the year to Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2019, up from 1.6% on the year to Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2018 (Table 1). The price of services sold by UK companies rose by 0.6% between Quarter 4 2018 and Quarter 1 2019.
The annual rate has remained positive since Quarter 1 2010, whilst the quarterly rate has remained positive for nine consecutive quarters.
Table 1: Services Producer Prices, UK, Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2019
|SPPI Index (2010=100)||1-Quarter||12-months||Change in the 12-month rate (percentage points)|
|Source: Office for National Statistics|
|1. Q1 refers to Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar), Q2 refers to Quarter 2 (Apr to June), Q3 refers to Quarter 3 (July to Sept) and Q4 refers to Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec).|
|2. Series are not seasonally adjusted.|
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Of the 10 sections (as defined by the Standard Industrial Classification 2007: SIC 2007) that are combined to form the Services Producer Price Index (SPPI), nine showed annual and quarterly price increases. Only prices for water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activities displayed negative annual and quarterly price inflation.
Education showed the largest price increase on the year to Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2019 at 5.1% (Table 2). The annual rate was driven by business and administration studies within adult education services, which rose 1.9%. Education has shown the largest price increase on the year for three consecutive quarters.
Table 2: Services Producer Price Inflation, 1-quarter and 12-month percentage change to Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2019
|Service group||Percentage change|
|Water supply, sewerage and waste management||-1.6||-2.3|
|Repair and maintenance of motor vehicles||0.2||2.6|
|Transportation and storage||0.8||3.1|
|Accommodation and food||0.6||2.4|
|Information and communication||1.0||1.7|
|Real estate activities||0.5||0.0|
|Professional, scientific and technical activities||0.5||0.8|
|Administrative and support services||0.2||1.2|
|Source: Office for National Statistics|
|1. The section level SPPIs are an aggregate of individual industry level SPPIs (excluding Financial Intermediation) published in the SPPI statistical bulletin. They do not provide full coverage of the service sector.|
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Transportation and storage provided the largest upward contribution to the annual rate of 1.7%, contributing 0.65 percentage points (Figure 2). Prices for transportation and storage rose 3.1% over the year (Table 2), driven by freight forwarding whose prices increased 6.3% on the year due to increased demand of the service.
Information and communication provided the second-largest upward contribution to the annual rate, contributing 0.34 percentage points. The 12-month rate was 1.7% in Quarter 1 2019, up from 1.6% in Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2018. Computer software services were the main contributor to the rate with prices increasing 1.7% on the year.
Water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activities provided the only downward contribution to the annual rate, negative 0.04 percentage points (Figure 2). Prices within the industry showed negative growth of 2.3% on the year. The main driver to the decrease was sorted materials recovery services where prices fell 11.7% on the year.
Eight industries displayed positive contributions to the quarterly price increase of 0.6%. Information and communication was the main contributor to the quarterly rate, at 0.21 percentage points (Figure 2). Prices within the industry increased 1.0% between Quarter 4 2018 and Quarter 1 2019, driven mainly by prices for computer software, which rose 1.2% on the quarter. Water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activities provided the only downward contribution to the quarterly rate, with a contribution of negative 0.03 percentage points (Figure 2). Prices within the industry showed negative growth of 1.6% on the month.
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The Services Producer Price Indices (SPPI) Quality and Methodology information report contains important information on:
- the strengths and limitations of the data and how it compares with related data
- uses and users of the data
- how the output was created
- the quality of the output including the accuracy of the data
If you would like more information about the reliability of the data, the latest SPPI standard errors were published on 4 December 2017. The article presents calculated standard errors for the period between Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2016 and Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2017, for both quarter-on-quarter and 12-month growth. A previous SPPI standard errors article presents the calculated standard errors for the period Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2012 to Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2016.
Guidance on using indices in indexation clauses (2015) has been published. It covers producer prices, services producer prices and consumer prices.
Detailed information on the methods used to compile the SPPI is available in the SPPI manual.Back to table of contents
Contact details for this Statistical bulletin
Telephone: +44 (0)1633 456907