A new report commissioned by Internet giant Google says that the Internet currently accounts for 7.2 percent of Britain’s gross domestic product(GDP)—and, further, that contribution will grow by about 10 percent a year, meaning in 2015 the Internet would account for some 10 percent of the British economy. The Internet industry directly employes more than a quarter million people, and of Britain’s Internet business were to be considered an economic sector, it would be the fifth largest in the nation, surpassing utilities, transportation, and construction.
The report finds that a great deal of the UK’s Internet economic activity is powered by consumption. The UK is the world’s leading nation for e-commerce, where for every £1 spent online to import goods, some £2.80 is exported. The study also found that over 60 percent of adults have bought goods or services online so far in 2010, and altogether spent about £50 billion in 2009 on goods and travel. Other driving factors include Britons spending money for Internet access—73 percent of British households have broadband—along with government spending, exports, and private investments.
The report also compares the United Kingdom to other nations in the Organization Economic Cooperation and Development, where it finds the most developed nations to be Denmark, South Korea, Japan, Sweden, and the Netherlands with the UK ranked sixth. All those nations came in ahead of France, Germany, and the United States.