Sub-national service exports methodology and initial results

Closed 29 Sep 2017

Opened 13 Jul 2017

Feedback updated 16 Jan 2018

We asked

Whether you found the publications useful, the methodology appropriate, and whether you wanted the outputs to continue in future

You said

That the new output was very welcome, the methodology was basically suitable but could use a few additions, and that it should continue to be developed

We did

Started planning for the next round of outputs in 2018, and set our priorities for next stages of development work

Results updated 21 Dec 2017

The attached document details the responses users provided to our consultation, and our intended actions as a result of those responses. Users wanted the outputs to continue, and were basically happy with the methdology, therefore we will continue production of the outputs, and continue to develop them. The first developments we anticipate enacting are to constrain results to the UK Balance of Payments, to convert all results onto an industry-only basis (rather than the current hybrid of products and industries), to investigate further geographic breakdowns such as producing results for mayoral Combined Authorities, and to investigate further uses of both existing and potential new data sources.



Services are the majority of economic output in the UK, and exports of services have been increasing in recent years. There has been growing demand for more detailed estimates of UK trade data, particularly for sub-national breakdowns. As part of the UK trade development plan, and the Supporting Devolution programme, the Office for National Statistics carried out experimental analysis analysing sub-national trade.

In July 2016, we published the first estimated values of service exports from each region and country of the UK covering the period 2011 to 2014. We followed this up in May 2017 by publishing figures for 2015, and finally in July we published additional analysis breaking down by country of destination of exports. A summary of these publications is available as a supporting document attached to this consultation.

This new set of statistical outputs is designed to support local-level decision and policy making, particularly in light of recent events including the UK’s declaration to leave the EU, the publication of the Consultation to the Industrial Strategy, and continued devolution negotiations.

Why your views matter

This is the first time estimates of service exports at sub-national level have been created, and in order to calculate them we had to devise a new methodological approach. We want your feedback to determine whether our outputs are meeting your requirements, whether the methodology we created is appropriate, and to consider the future development of the estimates.

We want your feedback on the following topics:

  1. Whether you make use of these estimates, and sufficiently understand what is being presented.
  2. The design of the methodology and any specific proposals for changes or improvement.
  3. Whether the estimates should continue to be developed and, if so, what further developments you would like to see in future.

This information will help us establish whether we are using sufficiently sound methods, ensure we are meeting your needs, affirm the necessity of continuing this strand of work, and help us mould the future direction of any work to better target user requirements.


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