19/03/2012 10:36 GMT | Updated 19/05/2012 10:12 BST

UK Is The 'Most Internet-Based Major Economy'

We're a nation of expert online shoppers, and digital shopkeepers, according to a new report.

Thanks to our love on online shopping, the internet contributes nearly 10% to the UK economy, out-performing any other major G20 countries, according to the report by the Boston consulting group: The $4.2 Trillion Opportunity: The Internet Economy in the G-20. The report looks at how countries and companies can make the most of the global digital economy.

They say we don't make anything in the UK anymore, but we clearly do a sterling job of building, and using websites.

The online economy was worth £121bn in 2010, or more just over £2,000 per person in the UK, and will rise to £225 billion by 2016, according to research by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

Dan Cobley, managing director of Google UK said: "This report is massively encouraging and shows that the UK Internet is leading the world in e-commerce. At a time of financial uncertainty, the UK Internet economy continues to grow at an incredible rate, creating thousands of new businesses and jobs."

The report states that by 2016, the total size of the G-20 Internet economy will be $4.2 trillion, up from $2.3 trillion or 4.1% in 2010.

It found that if the internet were classified as a single sector, it would be the 5th largest in the UK, out-classing healthcare, construction and education.

The strength of the sector is put down in part to our increased willingness to spend online. Back in 2010, 13.5% of all retail was carried out online. By 2016, that's expected to be 23%.

The internet also influences an additional 11.5% of retail as shoppers research online then buy in store.

Other countries have much lower levels of online shopping. The US has just 5%, Germany 7.1% and South Korea 6.6%.

The UK internet economy is growing at a rate of 10.9%, while other developed nations in the G-20 are growing at an average of 8.1%.

Projected growth rates will also see UK retain the lead with growth of 12.4%, while Italy is projected to grow at 11.5%, Germany at 7.8% and the US by 6.5%.