What are services?
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, services constituted around 81% of the UK economy, or around 30 million jobs. The services sector is broad and diverse, including retail and delivery services, the public sector, accounting and consultancy, leisure and cultural activities, and many more. Although we talk about services and goods as distinct categories, the two cannot be easily separated in reality. Often the purchase of a good also involves services, such as maintenance and insurance. These are known as embedded or attached services and have been a growth area for the UK in recent years. While the UK imports more goods than it exports, it ran an overall trade surplus in services totalling £28bn in 2018.
For more read our report on Services and Brexit