Services turnover in the UK: 2018

Annual statistics on the value of turnover from services provided by the UK service economy.

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Release date:
24 August 2020

Next release:
To be announced

1. Main points

  • Total turnover generated by UK services industries increased by £148.8 billion from £2,648.3 billion in 2017 to £2,797.1 billion in 2018.
  • The wholesale and retail trade sector, including the repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, generated the most turnover in 2018 at £1,272.9 billion, an increase of £7.6 billion since 2017.
  • The financial and insurance activities industries showed the largest rise of £35.2 billion, from £171.3 billion in 2017 to £206.4 billion in 2018.
  • Wholesale and retail services accounted for the largest proportion of total UK turnover in 2018; their combined value of £1,067.8 billion was estimated to be 38.2% of the total UK turnover generated in 2018, a slight decrease from 39.8% in 2017.
  • The information and communication industry saw the largest rise in turnover generated outside their main industrial classification (referred to as off-diagonal turnover), increasing from £60.2 billion in 2017 to £71 billion in 2018.
  • The biggest proportional increase in products was from creative, arts and entertainment services, an increase of 77.6% between 2017 and 2018.
  • The top 15 service products by turnover remained broadly consistent in 2018 compared with 2017 and accounted for 73.2% of total UK turnover.
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2. Services turnover in the UK data

Services turnover in the UK
Dataset | Released 24 August 2020
Annual statistics on the value of turnover from services provided by the UK service economy.

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3. Measuring the data

Data collection and sources

The Annual Survey of Goods and Services (ASGS) estimates are based on a sample of businesses surveyed annually. Data are collected from a sample of approximately 40,000 businesses, covering 51 service industries. It is sometimes necessary to suppress figures for certain products to avoid disclosing information about an individual business. ASGS data are produced in compliance with the Code of Practice for Statistics. Further information on this is detailed in the ASGS technical report, which describes the methods used to safeguard the information provided in confidence to us.

The ASGS collects turnover data primarily at the six-digit level as outlined in the Statistical Classification of Products by Activity (CPA code). Exceptions to this are the wholesale industry, which is collected at three-digit level, and the retail trade and waste collection, treatment and disposal activities industries, which are collected at five-digit level. This change was implemented for the 2017 reference period as sampled businesses within these industries found it difficult to provide data at such a granular level.

The CPA is the classification of products and is designed to categorise products that have common characteristics. They provide the basis for collecting and calculating statistics on such products. The CPA is consistent with Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) at four-digit level and provides further detail at five- and six-digit level. CPA products that are industry-specific are referred to as “on-diagonal”; these are products assumed most closely related to the business’ main activities, based on businesses’ industrial classification. In contrast, products that are outside a business’ main industrial classification are referred to as “off-diagonal” products.

Quality and methodology

The Annual Survey of Goods and Services (ASGS) survey methodology is outlined in the Quality and Methodology Information report and in the ASGS technical report.

What's changed in this release?

Data for 2017 have been revised in this release.

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Contact details for this Statistical bulletin

Daniel Robinson and Katie Evans
Telephone: +44 (0)3000 671084