The UK has the largest internet economy in the G20 group of industrialised nations, accounting for 8.3% of its total industry, according to new research.
The study, conducted by the Boston Consulting Group, estimates that the UK’s internet economy was worth £121bn in 2010, more than £2,000 per person.
If the internet was regarded as a sector in its own right it would be the fifth biggest in the UK, behind finance, healthcare, construction and education.
This would make it bigger than the healthcare, construction or education sectors.
The internet’s 8.3% share of the UK economy compares to just 5.4% of the economy in the US and 6.9% in China.
BCG also said the importance of the internet to the UK economy would steadily increase over the coming years, with an 11 per cent annual rise until 2016, when it will be worth £221 billion to the economy.
The study found the online business is playing an increasingly powerful role in national economies and is projected to account for $4.2 trillion of the Group of 20 nations’ total gross domestic product by the year 2016.
The “Internet economy” will grow at a rate of eight percent annually in developed countries and more than twice that in developing markets, according to a study released on Monday by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
India and Argentina will see the fastest growth, with rates expected to be 23 percent and 24 percent respectively, BCG said.
“The Internet economy offers one of the world’s few unfettered growth stories,” said BCG senior partner and report co-author David Dean.
In an array of countries including France, Germany and China small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) that actively engaged consumers online saw sales rates climb much more than did firms with scant Internet presences.
“Around the world, SMEs that embrace the Internet are growing faster and adding more jobs than those that don’t,” said BCG partner Paul Zwillenberg.
“By encouraging businesses to turn to the Internet, countries can improve their competitiveness and growth prospects.”