UK digital economy now driving more growth than financial or retail sectors

The so-called 'flat white economy' is driving more growth for the UK than the financial or retail sectors, according to a new study.

Synonymous with trendy tech startups and with its hub based in London, the flat white sector (named by researchers after young wokers' seemingly favourite drink) comprises media, internet and creative firms.

Collectively, this group now accounts for 8.7 per cent of the UK's GDP according to research carried out by the Centre of Economics and Business Research (CEBR).

Over the past three years, the digital industries have also over taken the wholesales sector, accounting for 40 per cent of the UK's economic growth between 2012 to 2015.

Speaking to City AM, CEBR president Douglas McWilliams noted that the sector had been notably absent from the government's budget last week.

“The law of unintended consequences may be working in the chancellor’s favour. The sector has grown without much assistance from the government and seems likely to continue to do so,” he said.

Rsearch from tech nation released last month revealed that the UK digital tech sector grew 2.8 times faster than the rest of the economy in 2014.

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Rebecca Stewart

Rebecca Stewart is a reporter at The Drum. Based in London, she writes news, analysis and features around brand marketing and digital innovation. She has interviewed key figures from the likes of Airbnb, Amnesty International, Unilever, Facebook and Spotify, as well as covering international events like Ad Week Europe, Dmexco and Ciclope.

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