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    IT prime reason for economic growth in US: report

    New York, March 16 (PTI): Information Technology has driven nearly all of the economic growth in the United States over the last decade, adding US$ 2 trillion annually to the economy, according to new report.

    IT also creates higher-paying jobs, allows business to cut costs and boost new innovations, said Robert Atkinson, co-author of the report by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF).

    Economic transformation resulting from IT was occurring at adoption rates exceeding even the most optimistic in 1990s, the report says.

    "For the United States alone, what we found was that because of the digital revolution, GDP is US$ 2 trillion larger today than it would have been had growth in the post-1995 era proceeded at the 1974 to 1995 rate," said Atkinson, who is also president of ITIF.

    While productivity impacts from IT are among the highest in the United States, the report says most other nations have benefited from the IT revolution as well, including Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Korea, Japan, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.

    Moreover, while its impact is not as large in most developing nations, IT is making a difference, in part because IT expenditures rose twice as fast in developing nations from 1993 to 2001 compared to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average.

    For example, the report finds that IT usage in China was responsible for 38 per cent of the increase in total factor productivity growth and 21 per cent of GDP growth.

    While the emerging digital economy has produced enormous benefits, there is still significant potential growth to be derived from leveraging IT, the report says and urges policy-makers in developed and developing nations to work to ensure that future policies and programmes they put in place spur digital transformation.

    "First and foremost, policies to support digital transformation need to become the fourth leg of economic policy alongside fiscal, monetary and investment policy," said Atkinson.

    "In particular, this means that policy-makers must adopt an approach that incorporates IT transformation in all that they do. Accelerating digital transformation is likely to be the most important step policy makers can take to ensure robust economic growth in the future."


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