The internet has become a key generator of income for the UK, accounting for 7.2% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2009, a Google-backed study claims.
Research by Boston Consulting Group found the web generated around £100 billion (€114 billion) for the UK economy in 2009, higher than the country’s construction, transportation and utility industries, and just shy of financial services, which generated 9% of GDP last year.
Much of the value is derived from e-commerce, which accounted for 60% of consumption in 2009 and generated a positive export flow of £2.80 for every £1 imported.
Consumers making purchases in-store save around £40 billion per year through online research, while those buying online saved £18 billion, the firm found.
“The significance of the internet to the UK economy is actually greater than these numbers suggest because important economic activities of both consumers and businesses are not directly captured by GDP,” BCG notes.
Paul Zwillenberg, report co-author, told the Guardian that the UK is “punching above its weight,” in terms of e-commerce.
The research firm predicts web income will grow at a CAGR of 10% to account for 10% of national income by 2015.