If the Internet were a country, by 2016 it would rank behind the US, China, Japan, and India in the size of its GDP — $4.2 trillion. That’s bigger even than Germany. Considering that the Internet economy has only been with us for about 20 years, that’s a phenomenal number.
In a new report on what the Internet economy means to the G-20 group of developed nations, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) observes:
[The economic impact of the Internet] demonstrates that no one—individual, business, or government—can afford to ignore the ability of the Internet to deliver more value and wealth to more consumers and citizens more broadly than any economic development since the Industrial Revolution.
The report notes that over the next five years, the annual growth rate of the G-20 Internet economy will be 8%, a higher rate than nearly any traditional sector. The Internet economy will contribute 5.7% of the European Union’s GDP by 2016, and 5.3% of the GDP for the full G-20. In developing markets, BCG estimates that the Internet economy will grow at an average annual rate of 18% (from a much smaller base).
The BCG report is available here.