CBI: Service sector survey
Business issues

Service sector survey

The survey is the newest of the CBI's portfolio of business surveys, developed in 1998 for the UK and in 2002 for the European Commission supply

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The survey covers 40 sectors of the UK busines, professional and consumer service activity. This survey is completed by chief executives and senior partners.

It provides key data from the most homogeneous component of the UK private sector economy where UK services now account for around 78% of UK GVA (gross value-added statistic ONS 2009). The survey is conducted on a quarterly basis in February, May, August and November and covers a broad range of activities that include accountancy to leisure and software design, publishing, telecoms, hotels and passenger transport.  Like our other business surveys, this survey information is crucial for all senior executives in the sector and for economic analysts in general to gain a wide perspective about the short and medium-term health of the macro-economy and for main business, professional and consumer services activity.

The survey covers a broad range of macro-economic issues such as business optimism, value and volume of business, charges, costs and profitability, employment and training, investment, business prospects and competitiveness regarding domestic, EU and non-EU markets.

The survey is classified according to the official Standard Industrial Classification (SIC 2007) and the survey weights are now updated on an annual basis.

The processed responses convert to raw weighted data from which are derived percentage balances. The percentage balance statistic is the figure derived from the difference between the weighted percentage of companies answering in the positive, minus the percentage replying in the negative. This allows a single number with a plus or minus value to thus represent the answer to any question. Since most of the questions refer to changes in the level of a variable, the absolute value of a balance will give a guide to the change in the variable concerned.

All participants receive a free digest of the latest results of the survey.

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