They are calling it the “flat white” sector and it is overtaking industry as the largest driver of UK economic output.
According to research the coffee-drinking, bicycle-riding millennials of digital and creative businesses, notably those in the “Silicon Roundabout” in east London, propelled it above a more traditional part of the UK economy representing businesses such as manufacturing, mining, power generation and water supply, which accounted for about 13.8 per cent.
An analysis of official data by Douglas McWilliams, deputy chairman at the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), a leading think tank, has found that the sector reached 14.4 per cent of gross value added last year.
Mr McWilliams said the term “flat white economy” was inspired by the tongue-in-cheek idea that “expensive property forces millennials to live in coffee houses”.
It has been tracking the growth of the sector for a number of years. The research found that it had expanded from 8.7 per cent of GVA, a measure of economic output, in 2013 and 13.3 per cent in 2016.
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