Measuring IT's economic benefits a challenge for analysts

The digital revolution propelled by the Internet and Big Data has radically altered the way businesses and consumers engage with the world around them, creating a myriad of opportunities that just a short time ago would have seemed impossible. However, economists say that since few of these new solutions actually make things, their impact on U.S. domestic productivity is less easy to pin down. Starting this year, the Commerce Department will begin issuing revised gross domestic product figures that take into account more abstract economic activity such as advances in R&D and innovation, but skeptics say current economic measures will still fail to adequately reflect the benefits of platforms such as Facebook or Google Maps.

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