A new report released by Deloitte Access Economics has calculated that Australia’s digital economy is now valued at $79 billion, passing the $70 billion estimate forecast to be hit in 2016.
The Connected Continent II report reveals that the digital economy is now 5.1 per cent of GDP, making it bigger than agriculture, retail and transport sectors.
Of the $78.8 billion total that makes up Internet and Digital Technologies Economic Contribution, $13.0 billion comes from Information, Media and Telecommunications, $51.7 billion from the rest of the market sector, and $14.1 billion from the non-market sector.
The rapid growth of the economy is expected to continue, the report predicting the sector will hit $139 billion by 2010 (7.3 per cent of GDP).
“The sweeping impact of the internet is more than well documented, but until 2011 at least, the economic value of all things digital was less well understood,” Deloitte Access Economics partner and report co-author Ric Simes said.
“When we first calculated the value of the internet economy in 2011, we all knew it was growing rapidly, but just as technology and levels of connectivity have evolved, so has the value of digital to the Australian economy.”
The Australian economy registered an additional size of $45 billion in 2013. This included the impact of digital technologies on productivity.
The growth in the digital sector has seen an estimated $75 billion in consumer benefits, in terms of greater choice and convenience, and around 450,000 ICT specialists employed (4 per cent of total employment).
“In 2011, we estimated that the internet contributed about $27 billion in the form of increased productivity in Australia in one year. Using an updated model, we now estimate that the economy was about $45 billion bigger in 2013 than it otherwise would have been because of the productivity impacts of digital technologies,” Mr Simes said.
“Higher productivity means Australia has greater output for its inputs to production via the likes of increased competition, reduced prices, greater business efficiencies, and innovation for better goods and services.”