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Innovation Fact of the Week: U.S. Businesses Spend Up to 4% of GDP on ICTs

(Ed. Note: The “Innovation Fact of the Week” appears as a regular feature in each edition of ITIF’s weekly email newsletter. Sign up today.)

When organizations invest in better communication tools, processing equipment, and advanced software, it has a direct impact on their productivity, so it is a good sign for the United States that its businesses are investing more in these information and communications technologies (ICT) than businesses in any other country.

National Science Board data show that from 2012 to 2014, U.S. businesses spent an average of $650 billion on ICT goods, or 4 percent of U.S. GDP in that period. Among developed nations, Japanese businesses came in second, spending the equivalent of 3.5 percent of Japan’s GDP on ICT goods. Among developing nations, Chinese businesses were hot on the heels of their U.S. counterparts, spending just under 4 percent of China’s GDP.

As a group, businesses in developed countries spent an average of 3.2 percent of their respective countries’ GDPs on ICT goods, while businesses in the developing world spent less—just 2.8 percent, on average. But developing economies receive more productivity benefit on a dollar-for-dollar basis, because they have much more room for improvement. Indeed, as ITIF explains in “A Policymaker’s Guide to Spurring ICT Adoption,” there is a tremendous opportunity for countries around the world to increase their productivity and accelerate their growth by spurring ICT adoption across all sectors of their economies.

Read last week’s Innovation Fact of the Week.

Photo Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center via Flickr

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