UK's Internet Economy Tops Amongst G20 Nations
March 22, 2012

UK’s Internet Economy Tops Amongst G20 Nations

The Internet is responsible for a larger percentage of the UK's economy than any other G20 industrial or developing nation, a new study from Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has discovered.

According to BBC News, BCG figures show that the UK's "Internet economy" was worth £121 billion pounds (approximately $192 billion) in 2010 -- or in excess of £2000 ($3,176) per person.

Furthermore, they discovered that the Internet contributed more to the UK economy than the education, construction, or healthcare industries, and that more online retail sales were conducted their than in any other "major" economy, the British news organization also reported.

"If it were formally categorized as a sector, the internet would be the fifth largest in the UK," ZDNet UK reporter David Meyer said, noting that those dollar figures include such things as "e-commerce, online ads, cloud data storage and other internet-related spending."

The trend is unlikely to change. The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that the UK is experiencing a higher-than-average Internet economy growth rate of 10.9% (compared to 8.1% for other developed G20 countries) and that it will contribute £225 billion ($357 billion) by the year 2016. If that happens, that means that the Internet would make up a whopping 12.4% of the UK's total economy.

In a March 19 statement, BCG said that they projected that the Internet economy will grow at an average of 8% annually, and will contribute a combined total of $4.2 trillion dollars to the gross domestic product (GDP) of the G20 in 2016.

“If it were a national economy, it would rank in the world´s top five, behind only the U.S., China, India, and Japan, and ahead of Germany,” BCG Senior Partner David Dean, a co-author of the report, said.

The Internet economy of South Korea was second to the UK in terms of total impact on GDP, Meyer said, followed by China, Japan, and the US. In terms of projected growth rates, the Wall Street Journal reports that BCG is expecting Italy's Internet economy to increase by 11.5%, Germany's by 7.8% and America's by 6.5%.

"However, the Internet economies of developing markets in the G-20 are expected to grow at an average of 17.8% through 2016, led by Argentina at 24.3% and India at 23%," the Journal added. "In 2010, developing markets contributed 24% of the G-20's Internet economy; by 2016 that will rise to 34%, the report says."

“The Internet economy offers one of the world´s few unfettered growth stories,” said Dean. “Policymakers often cite GDP growth rates of around 10 percent per year in the developing markets, but they look past similar, or even higher, rates close to home.”