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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:

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 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.

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 17:07 | 4850163 p00k1e
p00k1e's picture

Will the hookers be able to depreciate coochies? 

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 18:25 | 4850513 logicalman
logicalman's picture

It's not been announced yet, but there's an app for that!


Thu, 06/12/2014 - 19:00 | 4850661 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

That's what Accelerometers are for.

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 17:00 | 4850135 Nue
Nue's picture

Now this is just pure genius any kid fresh out of college with a finiance degree can snort cocaine off a hookers ass, but it takes a true genius to figure out a way to monetize both her ass and the cocaine.

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 17:02 | 4850142 chinaboy
chinaboy's picture

A 20% of GDP growth is within sight. 

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 17:03 | 4850147 1stepcloser
1stepcloser's picture

i can use a drink right about now...and keep them cumming!

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 17:06 | 4850150 semperfi
semperfi's picture

if you like your blow job you can keep your blow job

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 17:08 | 4850161 Jayda1850
Jayda1850's picture

The Onion strikes again...El Pais? Fuck! Please somebody let me off this ride.

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 17:10 | 4850174 stormsailor
stormsailor's picture

some hookers cause more growth than others

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 17:18 | 4850183 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

they call it a "starbucks" in Idiocracy. In all the dystopian futuristic movies prostitute is considered a good job. Come to think about it all the cheap whores in the usa gubbermint and msm would have to agree.

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 17:23 | 4850226 orangegeek
orangegeek's picture

100 years ago, booze, drugs, prostitution,gambling were illegal as set by the gov and was run by organized crime


100 years later, all these are part of gov revenue


gov = organized crime

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 17:27 | 4850245 lasvegaspersona
lasvegaspersona's picture


If one does not find the proper coefficient of hum one can never figure the GDP impact of fellatio...remember the angle of dangle is equal to the sum of the ....

and I swear it won't be long before they are counting all sex because could have been economic activity if it had been paid for...

don't laugh, they now impute the rent you would be paying if not for the fact that you pay a mortgage...and this maniupulation of data PROVIDES A BIG BUMP IN THE GDP NUMBER.

How desperate must they be that this GDP number stays high even if it means nothing? It is because they system is crumbling and all the fire alarms must be silenced...voter will be angry if they hear bad news.

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 18:34 | 4850558 Zadok
Zadok's picture

Marriage is a very expensive proposition...

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 17:31 | 4850251 Itchy and Scratchy
Itchy and Scratchy's picture

I can smell a 'lingus tax cummin'!

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 17:43 | 4850313 Cash Is King
Cash Is King's picture

Soooo, if illicit trade and solicitation are to be added to GDP than logically speaking they are now tax deductions. When this comes here, I see my issues expanding faster than the Fed's Bal. Sheet! Then, I'll really know what it's like to be like GE and pay ZERO taxes!

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 17:44 | 4850319 eddiebe
eddiebe's picture

Makes me want to get a drink.

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 17:45 | 4850328 Took Red Pill
Took Red Pill's picture

ahhh so that's why the US is legalizing weed! I get it now!

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 18:27 | 4850518 logicalman
logicalman's picture

Nothing wrong with weed.


Thu, 06/12/2014 - 17:55 | 4850373 Itchy and Scratchy
Itchy and Scratchy's picture

Now that's my kinda Happy hour!

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 17:59 | 4850390 Itchy and Scratchy
Itchy and Scratchy's picture

In that case .... make mine a double!

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 18:04 | 4850412 Hongcha
Hongcha's picture

That's how it was in Oolongapo in the 1980's; or Pattaya now.  A little too out-front for my tastes ...

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 22:03 | 4851195 stormsailor
stormsailor's picture

1978 that was the sleeziest place i have ever been, far beyond my most depraved 18 year old thoughts.

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 18:16 | 4850473 Dragon HAwk
Dragon HAwk's picture

Ok I Give up...  How much does The First Drink Cost ?

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 18:23 | 4850508 GrinandBearit
GrinandBearit's picture

Sorry gents, but that is a "ladyboy", just like the ones that appeared in the movie "Hangover 2".  1000's of them in Asia, especially in the South Pacific.  

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 19:27 | 4850749 Last of the Mid...
Last of the Middle Class's picture

wow, price controls on nookie. Wonder how it's taxed? Per stroke or per orafice?

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 20:59 | 4850971 Kprime
Kprime's picture

I bet the IRS already has occupation codes ready to go.

If your GDP stays erect more that 4 months in a row see your economist immediately.

The Gov is doing all it can to increase its stroke.

Will including the sex trade cause greater inflation?

Will they still have a use for the God Damn Penis deflator?

Every time gov massages the data it has a happy ending.

Will there be a Hedonic adjustment for wet dreams?

Will jacking off carry an "imputed rents" correction?

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 22:32 | 4851264 Northern Lights
Northern Lights's picture

Yeah, it's getting pretty close to the end now.

Governments confiscating dormant bank accounts within shortened time periods speaks volumes.


Thu, 06/12/2014 - 23:25 | 4851434 telefunken
telefunken's picture

They do everything but derivatives-Those are fucking filthy.

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 23:29 | 4851444 FredFlintstone
FredFlintstone's picture

That is the most amazing sign I have ever seen.

Fri, 06/13/2014 - 00:19 | 4851548 Pootie Tang
Pootie Tang's picture

This is precisely what a limp economy needs

Fri, 06/13/2014 - 01:56 | 4851691 UselessEater
UselessEater's picture

These governments are saying you as parents have raised a child in a family home factory and that child is valued for her young body which she sells to strangers because it aides economic growth that satisfies the IMF, World Bank and other parasitic financial intuitions that each nation is feeding via austerity & economic reform targets met by any means necessary. These institutions of course profit handsomely from this and ensure that every penny spent in the open and now underground economies can be taxed, controlled, skimmed and fully exploited to enrich a few, while laughing at the misery and decay.

Fits perfectly with Tavistock Institute (by Dr Coleman - make sure your kids read it they'll see this and Miley Cyrus as programming not as genuine social "progress").

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