Service sector revenue rises across the board - up 8% in Q3

Revenue grew across the board in the service sector in the third quarter.

Turnover was up 8 per cent in the three months to Sept 30 over the same period last year, and a smidgen up on the revised growth figure of 7.7 per cent in the second quarter.

The numbers released by the Statistics Department yesterday do not take into account wholesale and retail trade, accommodation or food services.

Growth was led by the information and communications services industry, with revenue up 11.3 per cent on higher receipts from computer programming and consultancy firms, as well as activities such as Web hosting and Web portal services.

Financial and insurance services notched up 10.6 per cent revenue growth, beating the previous quarter's 10.4 per cent increase, while turnover in education services raked in 4.5 per cent more than the second quarter and a smart 9.7 per cent increase over the same period last year.

Business services - which include real estate, legal and accounting work, travel agencies and security - posted 6.3 per cent growth, slower than the previous quarter's 7.6 per cent improvement.

Turnover in health and social services rose 5.5 per cent for the quarter, declining from the 7.2 per cent expansion in the second three months of the year.

But the 6.2 per cent growth in recreation and personal services was a turnaround from the 3.3 per cent year-on-year slide in the previous quarter, while transport and storage receipts improved 5.6 per cent, from 3.9 per cent previously.

On a quarter-on-quarter, non-seasonally adjusted basis, the services industry was up by 2 per cent.

Business services dragged the sector down, with a 1.6 per cent decline in receipts, due to lower contributions from accounting, architectural and engineering services.

Still, education services pulled in 15.3 per cent more, on the back of a payment cycle that sees higher education institutions collecting more fees in the first and third quarters of the year.

Turnover in the recreation and personal services industry grew by 8.9 per cent.

It was fuelled by receipts in the attractions segment - a steep reversal of the 10 per cent quarter-on-quarter slide that was recorded between the first and second quarters.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 28, 2018, with the headline 'Service sector revenue rises across the board - up 8% in Q3'. Subscribe