£400m a day makes digital sector ‘sweet spot’ in UK economy

The UK’s “thriving” digital industry contributed £149bn to the UK economy in 2018 and has been outstripping the wider marketplace as a sector since it began to spike in 2015, according to government research.

Electronic manufacturers are among a host of firms making up the wider digital sector which has been on an upward trajectory since the mid-2010s and saw nearly £400m accrue to the British economy every day in 2018, according to a report by the Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport (DCMS).

The DCMS Sectors Economic Estimates 2018 report suggests that the digital sector accounted for 7.7% of the UK economy, up 7.9% 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%.


DCMS figures 2018

Sub-sectors to the digital economy include electronic manufacturers 


GVA (gross value added) by the digital sector has grown by more than 30% since 2010, with the Telecoms sector contributing more than £36bn, up by 35.4% since 2010.

The digital industry had, until the mid-2010s, grown in line with other sectors in the economy – but then in 2015 began to surpass competitive industries, continuing an upward trajectory since then measured by GVA .

Sub-sectors to the digital economy include electronic manufacturers like Cardiff-based IQE, a British semiconductor company in the manufacture of advanced epitaxial wafers for a wide range of technology applications for wireless, optoelectronic, electronic and solar devices.

In total, sectors that come under the DCMS contributed more than £220bn to the British economy in 2018 (excluding tourism), which accounts for nearly 12% of the wider economy.


GVA and overlaps in DCMS sectors, 2018

DCMS Digital Sector

DCMS sector overlaps – defined by internal, UK, or international best practice/standards for that sector, rather than with reference to each other. In some cases, industries have been included in more than one sector


“Technology is a sweet spot of our economy, bringing jobs and wealth across the country,” said Digital Minister Matt Warman. “The success is thanks to our business-friendly environment and fantastic workforce.

“We are working hard to continue this momentum by strengthening regional tech clusters supporting digital businesses and investing in people’s digital skills,” he added.

*Main image courtesy of Shutterstock