Services producer price inflation, UK: July to September 2019

Quarterly estimates monitoring the changes in prices charged for services provided to UK-based customers for a range of industries.

This is the latest release. View previous releases

This is an accredited national statistic.

Contact:
Email Martina Portanti

Release date:
16 October 2019

Next release:
15 January 2020

1. Main points

  • The annual rate of growth for the Services Producer Price Index (SPPI) was 1.9% in Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2019, up from 1.4% in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2019.

  • The price of services sold by UK companies rose to 1.1% in Quarter 3 2019, up from 0.3% in Quarter 2 2019.

  • Professional, scientific and technical activities provided the largest upward contribution to both the annual and quarterly rate.

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2. Things you need to know about this release

The Services Produce Price Index (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 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. Users should consider that coverage may change over time when deciding which indices best meet their 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.

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3. Services producer price inflation summary

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 slowed from negative 1.3% in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2009 to a negative 1.6% in Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2009, before returning to more typical growth from early 2010. The annual inflation rate was 1.9% in Quarter 3 2019, up from 1.4% in Quarter 2 2019.

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4. Annual inflation rate shows highest growth since Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2008

The Services Producer Price Index (SPPI) rose to 1.9% on the year to Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2019, up from 1.4% on the year to Quarter 2 (Apr to Jun) 2019. This is the highest the annual rate has been since Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2008. The price of services sold by UK companies rose by 1.1% between Quarter 2 (Apr to Jun) 2019 and Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2019.

The annual rate has remained positive since Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2010, whilst the quarterly rate has remained positive for 11 consecutive quarters.

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5. Professional, scientific and technical activities provided the largest upward contribution to the annual and quarterly rate

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 price increases, only Water supply, sewerage and waste management showed negative price inflation (Table 2). On a quarterly basis eight sections showed positive quarterly growth, only prices for Water supply, sewerage and waste management and Information and communication showed negative price inflation.

“Other services” showed the largest price increase on the year to Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2019 at 4.5%; the highest positive growth we have seen in this index. This was driven by services provided within Commercial washing and dry cleaning, which increased by 4.5% in the year to Quarter 3 2019.

Professional, scientific and technical activities provided the largest upward contribution to the annual rate, contributing 0.81 percentage points (Figure 2). Prices for Professional, scientific and technical activities rose 2.9% over the year (Table 2), driven by advertising services whose prices were up 7.2% on the year from 0.7% in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2019.

Transportation and storage provided the second-largest upward contribution to the annual rate, contributing 0.50 percentage points (Figure 2). Prices for Transportation and storage rose 2.6% over the year (Table 2), driven by freight forwarding whose prices were rose 6.2% on the year, up from 4.9% in Quarter 2 2019.

Six industries displayed positive contributions to the quarterly price increase of 1.1%. Professional, scientific and technical activities was the main contributor to the quarterly rate, at 0.97 percentage points (Figure 2). Prices within the industry rose to 3.4% between Quarter 2 2019 and Quarter 3 2019, driven mainly by prices for Management consultancy, which rose to 6.1% on the quarter. Information and communication provided the largest downward contribution to the quarterly rate, with a contribution of negative 0.13 percentage points (Figure 2), this was mainly driven by Computer programming where prices fell 1.4% on the quarter.

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7. Quality and methodology

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 2016.

Guidance on using indices in indexation clauses (last revised in 2016) 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.

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