Internet worth billions to UK says Google

Internet worth £100 billion to UK economy, says Google
A report from Google released today says that the internet industry is worth £100 billion to the UK economy, more than the construction and transport industries.

The online economy is worth £100 billion to the UK, the study found. According to the study, conducted by US researchers Boston Consulting Group and commissioned by Google, online business represents 7.2% of Britain’s gross domestic product – and that share is expected to grow to 10% by 2015.

That would put the internet’s contribution to the British economy on a par with that of the financial sector (although perhaps with less danger of precipitating catastrophic economic meltdown).

About £60 billion of the total came from online shopping and the amount that consumers pay for their internet connections. And in further evidence of the importance of the internet industry to the UK, the research found that Britain is a net exporter of e-commerce goods and services.

The UK’s online economy exports £2.80 for every £1 that is imported – in contrast to the ‘off-line’ economy, which only exports 90p for every £1 imported.

The report says that 250,000 people are employed by e-commerce companies in the UK, and Britain ranks sixth among the world’s major economies in terms of an ‘e-intensity index’ – a measure of the reach and depth of the internet. That put the country above the likes of Germany, the US and France, but lagging behind Japan, South Korea, the Netherlands and the highest ranked country, Denmark.

 73% of UK households have an internet connection, the report found, and 62% of all adults – 31 million – bought goods or services online in the past year.

Paul Zwillenberg, partner with BCG in London, said: ‘The internet is pervasive in the UK economy today, more so than in most advanced countries. Whether they are driving international expansion, improving their interactions with customers or the efficiency of their supply chains, UK companies are increasingly embracing the internet’s potential.

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