The UK’s internet economy is worth £100 billion a year, a study commissioned by Google has found.
According to the research, the online economy now accounts for 7.2 per cent of the country’s GDP and this share is set to grow by ten per cent annually, reaching 10 per cent of GDP by 2015.
Around 60 per cent of the £100 billion total is made up by "consumption" – the amount spent on online shopping and on the cost of their access the net – while the rest comes from investment in the country’s internet infrastructure, government IT spending and net exports.
The number of adults who bought goods or services online in the past year totalled 31 million – 62 percent of all adults – collectively spending about £50 billion on goods and travel.
The report also concluded that the UK is now the world's leading country for e-commerce, and exports £2.80 in web-bought goods and services for every £1 imported. This is the opposite of the trend in the offline economy, which exports 90p for every £1 imported.
Paul Zwillenberg, a partner with Boston Consulting Group, which conducted the research on behalf of Google, said: " 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."
Matt Brittin, managing director for Google in the UK and Ireland, added: "We all know how the internet has changed the way people access information and communicate.
“The sector has come of age, and with great prospects for further growth of the UK internet economy, will be vital to the UK's future prosperity."