By Max Clarke

The Service Producer Price Index for inflation (SPPI) for 2010 stood at 2.7%, with a 2.5% rise in the third quarter alone. Defined by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), who publish the data, as the “price received for services provided by UK businesses to other UK businesses and Government”, the index provides an important insight into the quarterly fluctuations of a limited number of key services.

Road freight transport, freight forwarding, publishing services and property rentals all remained largely unchanged, with gains or losses of no more than 0.6% for the three months ending December 2010.

Construction plant hire and advertising placement both rose by 2.2%, while ‘sorted recovered materials services’ jumped by 13.7% for the same period.

Courier services saw the largest sectoral price loss, dropping -2.9%.

SPPI inflation remains considerably lower than for other indices of inflation, including CPI (consumer price index) which stands at 4.0%, and RPI (retail price index) at 5.1%.