The EU statistics body, Eurostat, has released revised GDP figures for countries willing to participate in its study. The revised figures boast a closer approximation to a country’s actual economic activity because they include trade figures for illicit activity.



Turnover for prostitution, drug transactions, tobacco smuggling and gambling are included in the final report (when they are available).

Spain’s National Statistics Institute estimated its 2010 economy didn’t account for $13.63 billion in illicit activities. This equates to a cool 0.87 per cent of the entire country’s economic output.

In 2013 this figure was estimated to have almost tripled to $37.71 billion! Including these amounts adds a further 2.56 per cent to the overall economic total of $1.52 trillion.

The National statistics Institute was quick to appoint out its figures came from “academic and scientific” reports, surveys, and estimates. It was most vocal about adhering to the standards and guidelines set down by Eurostat.

Euorstat decided to include the transactions of illicit trade because these are activities carried out ‘willingly’ by participants.

But many countries reject this.

France has angrily opposed the premise that ‘all’ prostitution is carried out willingly. Sweden refused to comply because it still holds paying for sex to be a crime.

Italy has said its revised GDP figures have risen by 3.8 per cent as a result of the new methods of calculation; while Britain (with a nod and a wink) quietly added another $17.84 billion to its GDP.

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