Bizarre new European rules mean that for the first time illegal activities must be included in the official estimates of the size of the economy.
It means a booming sex trade or an expansion in cannabis factories will provide a boost to George Osborne’s economic outlook.
Every three months the Office for National Statistics produces an estimate of the size of the economy, or Gross Domestic Product (GDP). However, from this autumn the figures will also have to include the value of illegal drugs and prostitution for the first time.
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Isn’t this what is called by economists as “perverse incentives”?