New research provides experimental estimates to gauge the economic contribution of three measures of digitalised activities—Internet of Things (IoT) activity, information and communications technology (ICT) activity and digital activity.
17 September 2020

Bureau of Communications and Arts Research (BCAR) analysis shows that digitalised goods and services play a significant and growing role in Australia's economy.

Digital activity, which includes ICT and IoT activity, contributed $119 billion, or 7 per cent to Australia's economy in 2016–17, according to the latest available data. ICT activity contributed $86 billion and IoT activity contributed $74 billion.

IoT activity includes goods or services that enable an internet connection between physical objects, such as sensors and software publishing services.

Growth in digitalised activities outpaced growth in the economy overall between 2014–15 and 2016–17. This is consistent with technological advances, which have seen a transition towards goods and services that are digitally-enabling, such as computer system design and telecommunications services.

The BCAR's analysis provides a new measure of digitalisation building on past work by the US Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Australian Bureau of Statistics using the latest available data. The statistical working paper measures the digitalisation of Australia's economy over a five-year period, 2012–13 to 2016–17.

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