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Scotland’s digital economy now accounts for 10% of the country’s GDP and is poised for further growth, according to a new report.
The study, by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), follows last week’s revised ONS data on UK GDP up to 2016, which revealed the economy was £26bn larger than earlier estimates. The upward revision was driven by a more accurate measurement of the digital economy.
Official figures for Scotland had previously shown the digital economy in Scotland accounted for 5% of GDP in 2017, though that figure also included the non-digital creative sector.
Figures also reveal the sector accounted for about £3.6bn of Scottish exports in 2017 — 11% of Scotland’s total international exports.
The revised ONS data suggests the wider UK digital sector may account for as much as 15% of UK GDP according to the CEBR.
The CEBR report also places Scotland’s tech sector as the third-biggest in the UK after London and Manchester, and added that Scotland’s role as a centre for asset management was “a potent growth generator” for Scottish fintech firms.
Brian Corcoran, chief executive of Turing Fest, the annual tech investor conference that opens in Edinburgh this week and last year attracted 2,000 investors from Europe and America, said the report reflected the rapid growth in Scotland’s digital economy. He said: “Although it is difficult to find good data to conclusively illustrate, anecdotal evidence certainly indicates that Scotland’s tech economy has matured.”