Where does Geoffrey Lean get these numbers from?

Digital services now account for £1 in every £10 produced in Britain

You what?

Digital services are 10% of the economy? Larger than the entire financial sector? The same size as the NHS?

No, that doesn\’t quite taste right.

I have a feeling that the number being used there isn\’t \”the digital economy\” but that part of the economy that utilises digital services. If you order something from Amazon then there\’s that slightly thorny problem of how much of that gets described as digital.

All of it, which is I suspect how they got to that 10% number? Or should we value the book as being part of bookselling, the transport of it to you as part of the transport sector and only the method of your ordering, over the internet, as part of the digital economy?

Think of it using an earlier technology. If, 30 years ago, I had used a 10p telephone call to order £100 worth of coal, does telecoms get credited with the 10p or the £100?

To say that 10% of the economy is facilitated by digital services is very different from saying that digital services are 10% of the economy.

4 thoughts on “Where does Geoffrey Lean get these numbers from?”

  1. Geoffrey Lean is a hapless idiot. The Telegraph these days is very much a curate’s egg. For every piece by diamond geezers like James Delingpole or Nile Gardiner, you get some load of total cobblers by Lean or Mary Riddell or George “Comedy Vicar” Pitcher.

  2. If you read his articles and blog you’ll see Mr Lean is a weapons grade Mann-Made Warble Gloaming alarmist who regularly circulates unproven and highly suspect “facts” in support of the Cult of the Green God. So it shouldnt be too surprising that he gullibly swallows a figure for online sales that says it equates to 10% of our trillion pound plus economy.

    I’m afraid where Mr Lean is concerned you’re in the land of unicorns, pixies and fairy dust…but I suppose it makes a change from the real world.

  3. If we’re talking facilitated, 10% is an underestimate, surely? All my TV is digital these days, all those adverts, etc.

    But even including DVD, CD and game sales, and of course business software &c, 10% would be pushing it.

    Then again, there are people that make most of their living writing on websites, that counts, right?

  4. Who knows where the number comes from but is the magnitude really that surprising? The financial sector is largely digital, as is IT, telecoms etc. Lots of people have a computer as the main tool of their trade, and much entertainment is digital also.

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