Digital ‘Flat White Economy’ Becomes U.K.’s Biggest Sector

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The digital economy has become the U.K.’s largest economic sector, according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research.

The so-called “flat white economy,” which encompasses media, Internet and creative businesses such as film, music and advertising, accounted for 14.4 percent of gross value added last year and almost half of its growth. That means it overtook industry, which includes manufacturing, mining, power generation and water supply, CEBR Deputy Chairman Douglas McWilliams said.

The digital sector has also outperformed the economy overall, growing 4.6 percent last year — more than three times the pace of total GDP growth.

Even so, the sector — named after the espresso-and-steamed-milk drink popular in East London cafes — faces challenges in finding sufficient skilled labor after Brexit. It is also increasingly moving away from the capital, in part due to the high cost of property, McWilliams said.

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