creative industries grow economic value
and services exports to new highs


The creative industries contributed £111.7bn of value to the UK economy in 2018, official figures show. 

UK creative organisations also reported £35.6bn of services exports in 2018. The figure means a target set by the Creative Industries Council in 2014 to double services exports from £15.5bn to £31bn by 2020 has been passed two years early.  (Read about the CIC's current export strategy through to 2022 here and download an infographic on creative industries service exports).

The buoyant figures underlined the health of the creative industries sectors, which are experiencing faster growth than the rest of the UK economy.

The figures for Gross Value Added (GVA), published by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), showed the combined creative industries have since 2010 increased their contribution by 60.5 per cent at current prices or by 43.2 per cent after adjusting for inflation.


CI GVA stats 2018 650px

Source: DCMS Economic Statistics, January 2020. See notes on stats here

Estimated by a different metric - known as chained volume measures - the creative industries grew by 7.4 per cent in 2018, which is more than five times faster than the average annual increase across all UK sectors. 

The biggest annual increase within the creative sectors was in advertising and marketing which increased its contribution - measured in GVA - by 11.5 per cent in 2018 to reach £18.6bn. That makes advertising and marketing one of the three key drivers of growth in the creative industries.

CI GVA % change

Source: DCMS Economic Statistics, January 2020. See notes on stats here

However, in terms of overall size of contribution, advertising and marketing was only third largest of these drivers, behind IT, software and services which accounted for £45bn (up 10.3 per cent) and Film, TV, video, radio and photography, which contributed £20.8bn, up 3 per cent.

The DCMS also produces separate estimates for the economic contribution made by the digital and cultural industries (which includes arts, musesums and galleries, historic buildings, libraries and cultural education, as well as overlapping with parts of Film, TV, photography and music, and crafts). On this basis the cultural industries contributed £ in 2018, up 2.7 per cent.

You can read about estimates of the overlap between different industries overseen by the DCMS on its statistics page.

In terms of international trade in services exports, in addition to exporting £35.6bn, the creative industries also imported £17.8bn of imports in 2018, leading to a healthy trade balance in creative industries services.

The data for international trade in goods by the creative industries will be released at a later date.


Published: Feb 6, 2020