Internet Economy More Valuable Than the U.S. Government
The web seems to have been one of the few parts of the economy that has maintained growth in recent years, with e-commerce spending growing steadily even whilst the rest of the economy has stagnated.
A new report by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) reveals the extent of that growth, with the Internet now accounting for nearly 5% of the US economy. This is projected to grow to 6.5% in the next 5 years.
BCG analyzed the G-20 economies and found a positive outlook for the online economy across the developed world. They found that the Internet economy will grow by an average of 10.8% across the 20 largest economies in the world.
What's interesting is that growth in major developed nations such as America are at the lower end of this range, with developing nations like Argentina and India seeing growth of 24% and 23% respectively.
The size of the Internet economy in America was laid bare in the report. BCG revealed that the web accounts for nearly $700 billion of economic activity in 2010. That figure compared to $625 billion for the federal government.
The UK had a similar outlook, with the web contributing 8.3% to the nations economy, with South Korea coming in at 7.3%. By 2016 these figures are predicted to rise to 12.4% and 8% respectively.
As many marketers are only too aware however, measuring the true impact of web activity is not always easy, so the stats should be taken with a small pinch of salt. For instance there is no account taken for people that research online and then buy offline (ROPO). This phenomenon only accounts for 7.8% of consumer spending across the G20.
The growth in ROPO activity is supported by the rapid growth in mobile Internet devices, which obviously allow shoppers to do their research whilst actually in the store. With mobile browsing growing at a rapid rate this is set to be a huge growth area.
What is clear however is that the web is now a major part of the global economy, and a part that is only going to get bigger and bigger.