The internet does not matter

Tomorrow's Business

The digital economy is titchy, says this from the Internet Association (no, me neither). This isn’t the message they intended to send but it’s the one we received.

To the UK economy the internet is worth 1.2% of jobs and 2.3% of GDP.

Culture secretary Nicky Morgan has a quote: “These great new numbers demonstrate the strength of our tech industry,” she begins.

Erm, they don’t. They suggest hairdressing is a more important sector than the internet. Our manufacturing industry, supposedly in crisis, is 9 or 10% of GDP.

Now, digital firms are significant in London, as the release goes on to say, but it’s already lost us by then.

There are far better figures around. A quick search produces this from which has the UK’s internet economy as the largest in the G-20.

In some contexts 2.3% is a big number. In this one, it doesn’t work.

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