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Tech industry helps drive GDP growth post-Brexit

The technology sector is one of the key drivers behind the UK economy’s 0.5% growth in the months following Brexit

Figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that the UK economy has grown by 0.5% since Brexit, helped along by the technology industry. 

The growth is slightly lower than the 0.7% in the previous quarter, but higher than economists had predicted.

The ONS said that growth was “primarily driven by the motion picture, video and TV programme production, sound recording and music publishing activities, and computer programming industries”.

The quarter has also seen the fastest growth in transport, storage and communication industries since the fourth quarter of 2009, according to the ONS.

Joe Grice, chief economist at the ONS, said there is so far “little evidence of a pronounced effect in the immediate aftermath of the [Brexit] vote”.

Commenting on the growth, chancellor Philip Hammond said the figures shows that the UK economy is “resilient” and “well placed to deal with the challenges and take advantage of the opportunity ahead”.

Earlier in October, Hammond announced a £220m investment to boost technology projects as part of a push to “future-proof” the post-Brexit economy. 

The UK technology sector has grown substantially in the past five years, from £120bn in 2010 to £180bn in 2015.

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Julian David, CEO of IT industry trade body techUK, wrote in an opinion piece for Computer Weekly earlier in 2016 that, while Brexit was not what the majority of the tech industry wanted, the sector still has the potential to create growth. 

“We have an opportunity to create a phenomenal wave of tech-led growth for the next decade, which will produce a rich and vibrant landscape of new, high-value jobs,” he said.

However, the drop in the pound as a consequence of Brexit is already showing its impact.

According to 451 Research’s latest quarterly Cloud Price Index report, UK-based public cloud users will pay thousands of pounds more in 2016 than in previous years for the same quantity of compute resources due to the weakened pound.

Speaking to Computer Weekly earlier this in October, Owen Rogers, research director at 451 Research’s Digital Economics Unit, said the main issue was that cloud companies tend to bill UK customers in dollars. 

“If you are a British user consuming exactly the same large basket of goods, with the same specifications, you are paying around £1,750 more, purely because of currency fluctuations, which is horrendous,” he said. 

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A GDP alternative is good for measuring progress in preventing WMDs. I wouldn't want to post a blueprint to enable dandelions to make nerve gas and biolabs don't want to work on pandemics that don't exist: a GDP-metric preserves the fog of war. Once you have a good surveillance scheme in place you might be able to be specific. My Counter-WMD GDP presently has 23 line items. About 1/2 the existing tax base could reasonably be directed towards or away from below. The forcings total +139.5% and negative 39.5% and an annual and national metrics to come:

Superconductors 25%, Good gvmt implementing surveillance and strike (of a robot lab making missiles for example) 15%, brain imaging 11.5%, optical computers/communication 10%, AI grads -10%, robotic grads -10%, no NASA/space payloads that can make WMDs 10% (cancelling internetworking would be +1%), using good gvmt to prevent tyranny via surveillance and strike 9%, meritocracy voting and gvmt selection 8.5%, education about good gvmt 8%, political science grads in India (an Asian role model) and 4 eyes 8%, psychiatry grads 8%, hackable satellite grads -7%, quantum encryption grads 6%, 1/20-1/4 of top 1000 public americans have a psychiatry degree 5%, non-optical programming grads -5%, VTOL fighter jet with F111 performance 5%, 10000 A2A refueling jets with 100000km range 100000kg fuel 4%, major militaries of the world have a global risk mitigation org 4%, synthetic bio schools -4%, 4 eyes and 4/5 of NORAD's (fights eachother's drones) defence spending 2.5%, budget of ON and Que Catholic Schoolboard -2%, new diamond computer papers -1.5%. I wasn't able to assess classified material fall 2014 and lobbied for pattern recognition biolab visual sensors instead of acoustic assembly line superconducting sensors.