Initial Statistics on the Size and Growth of the Digital Economy to be Released Thursday

The Bureau of Economic Analysis will release, for the first time, preliminary statistics and an accompanying report exploring the size and growth of the digital economy at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 15.

The report will be available at BEA’s website, www.bea.gov.

The report will include in its definition of the digital economy three major types of goods and services:

  • the digital-enabling infrastructure needed for an interconnected computer network to exist and operate
  • the e-commerce transactions that take place using that system
  • digital media, which is the content that digital economy users create and access

This definition includes goods and services like computer hardware and software, telecommunications services, margins on retail e-commerce transactions, and subscriptions to online streaming services, to name a few.

Because of the limitations of available data, the estimates to be released Thursday include only goods and services that are “primarily digital.” This means that some components of the digital economy, like peer-to-peer (P2P) e-commerce, also known as the sharing economy, are excluded from the initial estimates. P2P transactions such as ride-sharing services rely on internet-enabled devices to match supply and demand, but also have a non-digital component of in-person provision of services.


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