Australia’s digital economy worth $79 billion

Australia’s digital economy is valued at $79 billion (or 5.1%) of gross domestic product (GDP), larger than the traditional industries of agriculture, transport and retail, according to The Connected Continent II report by Deloitte Access Economics.

The report, which analyses how the internet is transforming the Australian economy, says the digital economy is growing in significance and is 50% larger in real terms than the 2011 estimate.

“Today, digital technology including cloud platforms, smart hand-held devices and social networks are the new beachheads of the sweeping impact of the internet,” the report says.

“Rapidly evolving from basic connectivity, these technologies are further changing not only how consumers interact with businesses, but also how businesses are organising themselves.”

Overall, the findings of the 2015 report are:

  • The digital economy is estimated to be worth $139 billion by 2020 (7.3% of GDP).
  • The economy was about $45 billion bigger in 2013 than it otherwise would have been because of the positive impact of digital technologies on Australian productivity.
  • There are an estimated 451,000 information and communication technology (ICT) specialists in Australia (around 4% of employment) working across industries such as manufacturing, construction, professional services, health and education.
  • There is internal business transformational change through the next wave of related technologies – cloud, data analytics, and machine-to-machine technologies.
  • The digital economy has wider impacts on national welfare through consumer benefits in terms of choice and convenience, which are estimated to be worth around $75 billion.
  • The digital economy is changing from being a standalone industry to being embedded in businesses across the economy, and is transforming traditional businesses such as manufacturing and retail, and service businesses such as banking and business services.

When Deloitte Access Economics first calculated the size of the internet economy for Google in its landmark The Connected Continent report in 2011, the $50 billion figure was forecast to grow to $70 billion by 2016.

The 2015 report considers the impacts on GDP, productivity and employment, and the consequent impact on governments and policy makers based on the latest methodologies, technology trends and statistics.

Download the 2015 report, The Connected Continent II.

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