Scotch whisky is more important to the UK economy than iron, steel, computing, textiles and shipbuilding, according to a new report.

The paper, called The Economic Impact of Scotch Whisky Production in the UK, shows that the industry contributes £5 billion to the UK economy.

For every £1 the industry brings in, another 52p is generated across the UK on things like packaging and haulage, according to the report, which was commissioned by the Scotch Whisky Association and compiled by analysts at 4-consulting. This means that along with the £5 billion it generates, its direct economic impact is worth another £3.3 billion, up 21% since 2008.

Each year, Scotch whisky producers spend £1.8 billion on cereals, bottles, packaging, energy, transport and distribution, 90% of which is spent in the UK.

The industry supports 40,300 jobs in the UK – up from around 35,000 in 2008 – in a range of sectors including glass manufacturing and labelling. This total includes 10,900 people directly employed by the industry in Scotland.

David Frost, Scotch Whisky Association chief executive, said: “This new report shows just how significant the Scotch whisky industry is to the wider UK economy, adding £5 billion of value, supporting over 40,000 jobs, and contributing £4 billion to Britain’s trade performance.

“Scotch Whisky must be recognised as a cultural asset that boosts growth and jobs, supports communities and combines the best of the traditional and the modern.

“Given the scale and impact of the Scotch Whisky industry we believe the government should show its support.

“One way of doing so, in the short term, would be for the Chancellor to cut excise duty by 2% in the March Budget. It is unfair on the industry and consumers, and detrimental to the economy, that almost 80% of the average price of a bottle of Scotch is taxation.”