"Hookers & Blow" Lift Britain Over France As World's 5th Largest Economy

Britain has inched out France as the world's fifth-largest economy thanks to what The Telegraph calls "a shake-up" of the national accounts this summer.

 

UK gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to total $2.828 trillion (£1.816 trillion) this year, compared with French GDP of $2.827 trillion, as The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) said Britain's acceleration was boosted by the inclusion of sex and drugs to UK growth (as part of new pan-European accounting standards). Official estimates show prostitution added about £5.7bn to the UK economy in 2013, while illegal drugs were worth about £6.62bn. One question - how did they estimate it?

 

Britain spends more on illegal drugs than it does on Beer or Spirits (liquor)

 

And more on "Hookers and Blow" than on Vegetables, Milk, or footwear...

 

Guesswork?

The ONS's methodology for calculating how much prostitution is worth to the economy is based on extrapolating figures about the number of sex workers in London for the rest of the UK. However, this survey data, which is from 2004, excludes male prostitutes.

 

According to one estimate by Andrew Fogg, 42pc of all sex workers in the UK are male, making their omission a significant gap in the ONS's calculations. Other economists have also labelled the attempts to estimate the size of illegal economic activity as little more than "guesswork".

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Brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "Buy British"