Electronic Commerce: Statistics

HM Treasury written question – answered on 19th January 2018.

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Photo of Nicholas Soames Nicholas Soames Conservative, Mid Sussex

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what progress his Department has made on improving the quality of statistics available to quantify levels of e-commerce.

Photo of John Glen John Glen Minister of State (Treasury) (City), The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

The government commissioned Professor Sir Charles Bean to carry out an Independent Review of UK Economic Statistics, which reported in March 2016. Since then, the government has invested over £10m to enable the Office for National Statistics to develop world-leading analytical and digital capabilities in economic measurement in line with the review’s recommendations.

For example, with the proportion of retail sales occurring online increasing to over one in six, from under one in twenty in 2008, it is crucial that economic statistics keep track of such a large and growing marketplace. The ONS is working closely with the OECD and Eurostat to explore new ways to capture trade via e-commerce. The evolving market place for goods and services requires improved international understanding of how these trades are carried out, whilst at the same time keeping the burden on business to a minimum.

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