Illegal Drugs and Prostitution Account for $18 Billion of Britain’s Economy

SM Gibson (TheAntiMedia)
September 30, 2014

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A report released today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that household spending in the United Kingdom is on the rise. The economic resurgence can partly be attributed to the ONS’ inclusion of “illegal activities” in their statistical reporting.

This is not the first time that the UK has estimated the annual sale of illegal activities around the nation. It is, however, the first time that these figures have been factored into household expenditure statistics. The inclusion of estimated illegal drug sales and prostitution only serves to boost the overall bottom-line of Britain’s perceived economic spending.

Estimated sales of illegal activities in Britain has steadily risen over the past few years.

In 1997, it was estimated that £9.8 billion was spent in the shadows away from the government’s watchful eye. 2012 shows that number had risen to over £12 billion annually. These figures average to £11 billion ($18 billion USD) that was spent collectively throughout the UK per year for a 15 year period.

Specifically, the ONS reports that prostitution contributes £4.3 billion annually to the economy. Illegal narcotics account for an even higher number coming in at £6.7 billion per year.

According to the report, adjustments were made in totaling these figures. These adjustments included the clothes purchased by prostitutes and electricity used in UK cannabis production.

The United States does not currently factor illegal activities in with their economic statistics. Although according to the New York Times, the Bureau of Economic Analysis has not ruled out the possibility of changing their policy and including these numbers in the future.

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