While Sweden ranks highly with respect to digitization relative to other European countries, continued investment is required to enhance productivity and economic development.
The growth of Sweden's internet economy consistently outperforms GDP growth by approximately 1.5%. As a means of comparison, the internet economy is larger than both the value of the Swedish tourism sector and the value of the fashion industry. By 2019, the internet economy is projected to account for over 10% of the Swedish economy (Boston Consulting Group 2015).
This impressive growth is driven by Swedish consumers, who derive significant value from being connected. For instance, a 2013 Boston Consulting Group study found that the value to consumers from conducting research online prior to offline purchase is SEK 85 billion. Growth in consumer demand for internet-driven goods and services is encouraged by the rapid growth in smartphone and tablet usage. Each krona spent on mobile hardware has generated an additional three kronor of downstream spending on online consumption (Boston Consulting Group 2013).
However, while Sweden ranks highly with respect to digitization relative to other European countries, continued investment is required to enhance productivity and economic development. Its growth to date has largely been consumer-driven, since government and business investment in online technologies has failed to keep pace (Boston Consulting Group 2015). The 2015 Boston Consulting Group study ‘Launching a new digital agenda’ finds that “lagging investment in digital infrastructure and enablement – areas in which Sweden has historically led the charge globally – poses a threat to Sweden’s position as a leading digital nation.