UK's service sector output fell 1.3% in the three months to January following a fall of 0.8% in the three months to December, the Office for National Statistics said Tuesday. This is the seventh consecutive three months on previous three months decrease.

All five components of the service sector decreased in the three months to January, of which business services and finance showed the most significant decrease.

Distribution output fell 1.4% in the three months to January with the most significant decrease in wholesale. Hotels and restaurants output fell 2.4%, transport, storage and communication output dropped 1.3%, business services and finance output declined 1.9% and government and other services output fell 0.3%.

Between December and January, service sector output decreased 0.2%. It also marked an annual fall of 1.9% in January.

Separately, the ONS said productivity across the whole economy, measured by output per worker, decreased 1.8% in the fourth quarter of 2008 compared with the same quarter a year ago. The fall was down from a growth of 0.1% in the previous quarter and was due to a decrease in output.

On a quarterly basis, productivity decreased 1.5% in the fourth quarter, down from a decrease of 0.4% in the previous quarter.

Manufacturing productivity, on an output per job basis was 4.1% lower than the same quarter of 2007 and down from growth of 0.4% in the previous quarter. On a quarterly basis, manufacturing productivity decreased 3.4%, down from a decrease of 0.8% in the previous quarter.

For comments and feedback: contact