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Spanish Government Goes Digging For GDP, Asks Brothels: "How Many Services Do Your Hookers Provide?"

Tyler Durden's picture


First Italy, then Britain, and now Spain has decided that the key to reducing its debt-to-GDP ratio is not fiscal responsibility, growth, inflation, or restructuring but simply changing the denominator to better reflect reality - in other words, as El Pais reports, Spain is putting an official number on its sex trade and therefore juicing GDP. Prostitution, which is in legal limbo in Spain, is expected, according to revised figures released by the INE on Thursday Spanish GDP increases by between 2.7% and 4.5% after illegal activities such as prostitution, drug trafficking and smuggling are included. The Spanish government is undertaking a sexual services survey to better understand the industry...

As El Pais reports,

Several months ago two researchers from Spain’s National Statistics Institute (INE) paid a visit to the headquarters of an association called Heteria - the organization that works to protect the rights of sex workers - looking for a way to estimate how much money prostitution contributes to the Spanish economy.


The government has been working to measure a part of the illegal economy, and incorporate it into the official calculation of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This week it revealed its results: according to revised figures released by the INE on Thursday Spanish GDP increases by between 2.7% and 4.5% after illegal activities such as prostitution, drug trafficking and smuggling, together with other methodological changes, are included.

Of course they are not the first...

Other European countries have been doing the same. Portugal, for instance, on Thursday published figures showing that illegal activities accounted for around €700 million of GDP, around 0.4% of the total. Meanwhile, results from the United Kingdom indicate that prostitution, drug trafficking and smuggling account for around €12.3 billion. That’s 0.6% of GDP, according to a report released last week by the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS).


“A European Union regulation states that part of the illegal economy – prostitution, drug trafficking and smuggling – must be included in GDP calculations before 2016,” the INE explains. Government sources say Brussels is demanding an estimate of these changes to GDP before August.

And so the sexual services survey is underway...

At the end of last year, José Roca, a representative from Anela, an association of brothels, received a call at his Valencia office from the INE. It wanted to know if there was any data about turnover, costs and other such figures for the sector. To start with, Roca thought it was a joke. But when he received an official email from the INE he was finally convinced that it was a serious request.




Shortly afterward he received a questionnaire from the statistics office with a number of questions.


  • How much did a prostitute charge on average for her services in the years 2002/2007/2012?
  • What was the average number of services provided per prostitute a day in 2002/2007/2012?
  • What was the average billing in 2012 for a normal/small brothel (fewer than 50 prostitutes) for renting rooms?


Roca answered as best he could: “€50/€70/€40” for the first question; “6/8/4” for the second; and “€50 per day/prostitute” for the last.


“It’s impossible to calculate,” explains Roca. “Any figure that we could give is random and subjective. There is no census for brothels, nor for prostitutes, average costs or services.


“It would be better for them to invent a figure,” he concludes.

Which is likely what they are hoping for - anything for some GDP...

And since this is just the beginning for a world which is slowly coming to grips with just how insolvent its non-shadow economy is, we eagerly look forward to the next bold move by economist everywhere: estimating the number of undocumented drug dealer and prostitutes and adding them to the monthly nonfarm payroll total. Think of it as a Birth/Death adjustment. Only more like a Blowjob/Drugs adjustment.

How many blow jobs were created or saved thanks to government intervention?

But how will they account for this? Product (drink) or Service (blow job)

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Thu, 06/12/2014 - 16:33 | 4850028 whatsinaname
whatsinaname's picture

Does the survey involve crawling on all fours ?

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 16:38 | 4850057 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Plot Twist: First drink's loaded with a Roofie.

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 16:44 | 4850078 gh0atrider
gh0atrider's picture

blowjobs for bitcoins!

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 16:48 | 4850096 Divided States ...
Divided States of America's picture

I am sure SOMEBODY in the government knows all the services a brothel offers.

So is Spain going to levy a 'SEX TAX' on users of these types of services from now on?

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 20:10 | 4850875 TheRedScourge
TheRedScourge's picture

First Monty Python does it, then the government does: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmgcylAxjfY

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 16:50 | 4850099 knukles
knukles's picture

In an interview on Spanish Television, a little boy who had emigrated from Mexico was shown saying; "Oh senior, Labdia, my seester, she a virgin for you.  She ess bean a virgin many many times.  She can do anee theeng you like.  Si!"  Where upon Premier Rad-joy declared the Spanish economy so well diversified in its service sector that taxes could easily be raised to support leadership retirement benefits. 

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 17:10 | 4850176 CCanuck
CCanuck's picture

Ghoatrider is One-Bit Whore

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 17:46 | 4850333 TeamDepends
TeamDepends's picture

Announcing the Blowcoin, it's what's for dinner, peasant.

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 16:47 | 4850091 e_goldstein
e_goldstein's picture

and she's really a dude.


Thu, 06/12/2014 - 16:52 | 4850106 knukles
knukles's picture

Hey... this is Spain.  Not the SEC.  Or Thailand.
Dontcha just love the funny name of" Bangkok"?

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 17:59 | 4850393 BearOfNH
BearOfNH's picture

Not to mention city#2, Phuket.

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 16:39 | 4850062 svayambhu108
svayambhu108's picture

Blowjob is a cocktail

Fri, 06/13/2014 - 01:10 | 4851626 prains
prains's picture

...just like a Diamond Ring is a Dime'n Ring

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 17:04 | 4850153 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

I always thought it was one word not two.

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 16:33 | 4850032 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

This is the way Dark Ages begin.  All virtue is lost.

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 16:37 | 4850051 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

over here in Belgium they figured out that pensions need to come down.

and you expect that they would put that on the front page of all newspapers but there's only a little colum in the back that says pensioners will lose 1800 euro's per year from their pensions.


as the young kids do shit about their own miserable situation...

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 17:19 | 4850211 agent default
agent default's picture

A proper answer would be not as many as our politicians.

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 17:41 | 4850300 Greenskeeper_Carl
Greenskeeper_Carl's picture

Your out there on park avenue flashing people, and you wanna talk about virtue?!?!?

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 20:14 | 4850889 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

I used to be exceptional.  That is how I know.

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 16:34 | 4850035 Joebloinvestor
Joebloinvestor's picture

The dreaded sin tax, soon to be a staple of all corrupt governments.

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 16:39 | 4850063 sessinpo
sessinpo's picture

Joebloinvestor    The dreaded sin tax, soon to be a staple of all corrupt governments.


Up arrow

Government will tax and steal everything and break all promises. Think you are safe. Forget rules regarding your 401k or IRA. It belongs to them, not you. Se are slaves to them and anything we do can be taxed or confiscated.

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 16:34 | 4850037 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

drug trade may be illegal for now but... don't forget to fill in your taxes and mark that square Drug Kingpin


Can I put my coke as a deductible?

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 16:41 | 4850071 sessinpo
sessinpo's picture

Sudden Debt    Can I put my coke as a deductible?


You are more then welcome to provide any information they can use against you at a later time.

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 18:03 | 4850410 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

There hasn't been a single year that I didn't cheat on my taxes :)
Actually... I don't even know if it's cheating or not because... they always give me money for it so it must be done right in some way :)

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 16:34 | 4850040 Rainman
Rainman's picture

This all makes sense to Satan.

Fri, 06/13/2014 - 01:11 | 4851628 prains
prains's picture

...and to bankers

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 16:35 | 4850043 Debt-Penitent
Debt-Penitent's picture

Worst than NIRP.

Is this how it ends?

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 16:41 | 4850066 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

No, but you can probably start to seeing the end coming up over the horizon from here, if you squint and look real close.

When it actually ends, it ends in blood.  Same as always.

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 18:26 | 4850515 Zadok
Zadok's picture

Lord, please let it be closer than that. The insanity of last week is being outdone this week...every week.

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 16:42 | 4850068 Yen Cross
Thu, 06/12/2014 - 16:41 | 4850070 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

If they are going to include it in their GDP calculations then why is it illegal?

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 16:43 | 4850077 sessinpo
sessinpo's picture

Dr. Engali    If they are going to include it in their GDP calculations then why is it illegal?


Why do you question what the mafia does. Do you expect honesty, morality and acountability from them?

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 17:16 | 4850199 Jayda1850
Jayda1850's picture

Probably more so than the government.

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 17:25 | 4850238 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

Generally, the Mafia make better neighbors than the Government.  True.

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 16:43 | 4850076 are we there yet
are we there yet's picture

They should include bribe money for politicians in the GDP.

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 18:23 | 4850498 logicalman
logicalman's picture

Likely good for about 50% of US GDP.

Maybe you should patent the idea!

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 16:44 | 4850079 JenkinsLane
JenkinsLane's picture

"No one cooks the books anymore, they torture them until the books tell them the numbers they want to hear."

h/t Enron


Thu, 06/12/2014 - 16:44 | 4850080 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

Margaret Thatcher - 'The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.'

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 17:05 | 4850157 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

Hey Mags, that's the problem with government in general.

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 18:24 | 4850511 logicalman
logicalman's picture

The only problem with Maggy was that she was born in the first place.


Thu, 06/12/2014 - 16:52 | 4850104 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

This is actually kinda good.   Just because it's "illegal" doesn't mean it doesn't exist.   

If the wise (often bearded) "Keynesians" factored in the benefits of corruption caused by their infinited debt insanity who knows how high the GDP might go.

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 16:53 | 4850108 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

It wasn't long ago when under aged sex slaves were taboo. Today,  it's a new enterprising Wallstreet bubble.

Sick fucking people running this world. 

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 16:54 | 4850110 youngman
youngman's picture

I wonder if the girls with bigger boobs..make more money in Spain....I would ask that question...the Spanish government needs to know...it all...If I was in charge..this study would take years..and mucho Viagra

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 16:55 | 4850116 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

If they start taxing sex, they'll start keep the statistics on performance metrics too.

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 16:53 | 4850111 Smegley Wanxalot
Smegley Wanxalot's picture

The cute girl carrying the blow-job sign is not the one who will give you the blow-job.  That would be the aids-ridden guy who sleeps in the dumpster.

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 17:05 | 4850156 semperfi
semperfi's picture

behind the glory hole

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 16:56 | 4850123 kowalli
kowalli's picture

and i thought - why Rome fell

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 16:57 | 4850124 Cangaroo.TNT
Cangaroo.TNT's picture

I reiterate: let's have a measure of GPD "growth" or "ungrowth" or "disgrowth" that isn't so goddamn stupid.

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 16:57 | 4850126 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

The hookers will have to wear humpometers to record their activities and upload the records weekly.

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