Internet’s $50bn Australian GDP boost ‘on par with’ iron ore exports, retail

The internet is fast growing into one of the nation’s strongest economic contributors, with a report showing it had chipped in more than $50 billion towards national gross domestic product last year.That sum equates to 3.6 per cent of GDP, putting it on par with the economic value of iron ore exports and the proceeds of the retail sector. It also nearly doubles the economic contributions from the agriculture and electricity, gas and water industries, according to new research from internet search giant Google and Deloitte Access Economics.To read this report in The Australian in full, see:
Also see:Internet kicks in to click-start the economy
The rise of the internet in the local economy could be the answer to the nation’s worrying productivity growth rate.A new report, commissioned by internet search giant Google and conducted by Deloitte Access Economics and released yesterday, found that the internet economy contributed $50 billion towards Australia’s GDP for 2010.’s ability to disrupt and benefit has only just begun by Ross Gittins
Like many major new technologies before it, the internet is steadily remaking a host of our industries – music, film, travel, banking, newspapers, book-selling, and now retailing more generally. You’ve heard a lot about the pain this is inflicting on businesses and their staff, and you’ll be hearing a lot more.But while we’re being asked to feel bad about all the business people and workers displaced, there are two things we shouldn’t lose sight of. New technology is ALWAYS reshaping our economy; it’s the price we pay for 200 years of ever-rising affluence. And the costs to the producers of the old technology are always outweighed by the benefits to the users of the new technology. The Connected Continent: how big is the Internet in AUD?
The Internet’s always been easy to measure in terms of users, bandwidth or time. Working out how all those things add to the national bottom line is surprisingly hard. (Imagine trying to quantify the economic impact of the steam engine or electricity when those inventions were in their earliest days.) Given that the Internet is shifting every industry into a different gear, we decided to give it a shot. We asked Deloitte Access Economics to take an in-depth look at what the Internet is actually bringing to Australia in economic terms.Deloitte’s report “The Connected Continent,” the first of its kind in Australia, finds that the Internet contributed 3.6% of Australia’s GDP in 2010. That’s the same as Australia’s iron-ore exports. The report digs into which businesses and industries use the Internet and tries to put a dollar figure on how much Australians get from the Internet. Here are some of the key findings:

  • Australia’s Internet economy is likely to grow by $20 billion over the next five years, to roughly AUD$70 billion — this is a 7% growth rate, which is twice as fast as the forecast for the rest of the economy.
  • Productivity increases in businesses and government enabled by the Internet are estimated to boost GDP by around $27 billion in 2011.
  • Households benefit from Internet use in the form of added convenience and a greater variety of goods and services; this is estimated to be worth an additional $53 billion, only some of which is reflected in GDP statistics.
  • Every business in a small-business survey used the Internet to some extent, but only half had a website.

It’s clear from this research that Australia’s main industries are rewiring themselves around the Internet, and that a healthy digital economy is crucial to our future. But how did the Internet grow to be as large as our main commodity export? The answer is that the Internet boom is one that every business in Australia is contributing to. These days, every business in Australia is an Internet business. They might not realise it yet, but those that do are reporting huge benefits. Aussie Farmers Direct now generates over $100 million a year by selling fresh food online. Or take AuctionsPlus, which sold 2.2 million sheep via an online auction process to farmers at home and overseas last year.The report is the latest in a series of reports sponsored by Google that try to measure the impact of the Internet. It also follows a research report from McKinsey that found that the Internet economies of the G-8 and Brazil, India, China, South Korea and Sweden accounted for 21% of GDP growth over the past 15 years.The full report is available at internet hits $80bn
Australia’s fast-growing internet industry now contributes almost as much to the nation’s economy as the embattled retail sector, and its value is already as big as that of the nation’s iron ore exports.According to a report to be released today by Deloitte Access Economics, commissioned by search engine giant Google Australia, the internet economy was worth about $50 billion in 2010, 3.6 per cent of gross domestic product, and was forecast to rise to $70 billion over the next five years. a building block in $50b online revolution
… New research published today says Australia’s online economy will grow at twice the pace of the national economy between now and 2016, intensifying the pressure on businesses to adapt to sweeping technological changes.The Deloitte Access Economics report, commissioned by Google, says the internet contributed $50 billion to the economy last year – an amount rivalling iron ore exports. tipped to add $70b to output
The internet will effectively pour $70 billion into Australia’s economic output every year by 2016 – more than the current contribution from a suite of sectors, says new research.And the internet’s direct contribution to gross domestic product will grow at twice the rate of the wider economy over the next five years, according to Deloitte.

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