Drugs and sex industry boost British economy

30th September 2014, Comments 0 comments

Drug trafficking and prostitution contributed £8.5 billion (10.9 billion euros, $13.8 billion) to the British economy last year, Britain's Office for National Statistics said on Tuesday.

The two activities accounted for 0.5 percent of Britain's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2013, an ONS spokeswoman told AFP, confirming that this was equivalent to £8.5 billion.

The figure was part of a change in methodology for estimating the size of the economy under new European Union rules.

Other illegal activities such as alcohol and tobacco smuggling are already taken into consideration.

The new estimate for the size of Britain's GDP in 2013 is now £1.713 trillion and overall annual growth was unchanged at 1.7 percent despite the change in the figures.

Spain earlier this year estimated drugs and prostitution contributed 9.2 billion euros ($11.6 billion), or 0.85 percent of GDP, to the economy in 2010, the only year for which it gave an estimate.

The European statistics agency Eurostat has given member states until September to change the way they calculate GDP.

France and Sweden have both refused to integrate prostitution into their data.

© 2014 AFP

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