Britain's services output growth in 2017 was the lowest in six years while the last quarter of 2017 saw the strongest quarterly expansion of the year, preliminary estimates from the Office for National Statistics showed.
The index of services gained 1.6% in 2017, down from a 2.5% increase in 2016, as all four main components grew at a slower annual pace in 2017.
The country's services output grew 0.6% during the last quarter of 2017, compared to a 0.4% pace in the prior quarter. Transport, storage and communication gained 1.1% on a quarterly basis, while business services and finance expanded 0.9%. The increases were partially offset by a decline in output in for distribution, hotels and restaurants by 0.2%.
Year on year, fourth-quarter services output expanded by 1.4% in 2017, led by 2.5% growth in the transport, storage and communication component.
The services index was flat month on month in December 2017. Monthly output fell for distribution, hotels and restaurants, by 1.1% while rising 1.2% for the transport, storage and communication component.