UK services output jumps by four times more than expected

The gross value added in the UK services sector - a key contributor to GDP - rose by a better than expected 0.8 per cent points in the three months to May compared with the previous three months, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (release). The index of services now stands at 104.5 (2010=100).

Analysts had expected a growth of 0.2 per cent, in line with that of the previous period.

Compared with the three months to May 2012, the index of services increased by 1.6 per cent. The largest contributions to annual growth in services output came from distribution in hotels and restauraunts, which contributed 0.6 percentage points to annual growth, and government and other services, which contributed 0.4 percentage points to total growth.

However, it's worth noting that the May 2012 figures were affected by the reduction in working days from the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

The good results follow strong growth in UK gross domestic product (GDP) reported here. Services contribute to around 77.8 per cent of UK GDP.