February 7, 2020
According to new government figures, the country’s digital sector contributed £149 billion to the UK in 2018, accounting for 7.7 percent of the economy. This is up 7.9 percent on the previous year, meaning growth in the sector is nearly six times larger than growth across the economy as a whole, which increased by 1.4 percent.
Up until the mid-2010s, the sector had been growing in line with the wider rate of UK economy growth. But the figures show that in 2015 the growth in the digital sector started to outstrip the economy as a whole and has continued on an upward trajectory since.
The figures take into account the contributions of digital businesses up and down the country across a range of specialisms. This includes software publishers such as Newcastle-based software provider Sage, which started small but now has more than 13,000 staff.
Another sub-sector covered in this report is electronic manufacturers, such as Newport-based IQE, a global leader in the design and manufacture of products for computer chips tipped to power everything from electric cars to 5G.
Digital Minister Matt Warman said: ‘We are working hard to continue this momentum by strengthening regional tech clusters supporting digital businesses and investing in people’s digital skills.’
In total, the Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) sectors (excluding tourism) contributed £224.1 billion to the UK in 2018, accounting for 11.7 percent of the economy as a whole. The creative industries contributed £111.7bn to the UK economy in 2018, up 7.4 percent from the previous year, meaning growth in the sector is more than five times larger than growth across the economy as a whole. The cultural sector contributed £32.3bn to the UK economy in 2018, up 2.7 percent from the previous year.