Illegal drugs and prostitution boost Britain's economy by £11billion

Illegal activities have been included in estimates of household spending for the first time by the Office for National Statistics

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The Independent Online

Spending on illegal drugs and prostitution has boosted the UK economy by an estimated £11 billion, new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggest.

The ONS' revised report found household spending was higher in 2012 partly because of “illegal activities”, namely narcotic drugs and prostitution.

The ONS estimated the average annual impact of the addition of illegal narcotics between 1997 and 2013, on household expenditure, is £6.7 billion per year.

Meanwhile, prostitution contributed an estimated £4.3 billion per year in current price terms.

Data previously released in May estimated that illegal drugs and prostitution contributed £10 billion to the UK economy between 1997 and 2009.

That figure was £6 billion more than the amount spent on house building within the same period.

However, this is the first time this has been officially added to figures on spending in the UK.

Britain's gross domestic product (GDP) rose 0.9 per cent in the three months from April to June this year, the fastest increase since the third quarter of 2013.

The data showed Britain rebounded from the deep 2008-09 recession earlier than thought, at least in terms of growth.