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Drugs, prostitution worth $21 billion to British economy

Published on May 30, 2014 1:32 AM

LONDON (AFP) - The inclusion of illegal activities such as prostitution and drugs into national accounts would add about 10 billion pounds (S$21 billion) to national output, Britain's statistics office said on Thursday.

In a paper in which it estimated prostitutes' "sales" and costs incurred - condoms and "working clothes"- the Office of National Statistics (ONS) said the inclusion of such activities was part of a raft of improvements to the way the economy will be measured from September.

The adjustments bring Britain's estimates of Gross Domestic Product - or national economic output - more into line with other European countries, where some activities such as prostitution or the trade in certain drugs are not illegal.

The ONS estimates of illicit revenues are based on 2009 data, the latest it says it are available, and could help bolster arguments for the reform of drug and prostitution laws.

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