Friday, December 26, 2014

Sex and Drugs Helps Bristish Economy Overtake France

This calls for some Ian Dury, heh.

At the Telegraph UK, "Britain edges past France on world stage":
UK economy, boosted by the inclusion of sex and drugs in national accounts, overtakes France by a whisker to become the world's fifth largest economy.

Britain has overtaken France to become the world's fifth largest economy, new analysis shows.

A shake-up of the national accounts this summer, which showed the UK's downturn during the Great Recession was shorter and shallower than previously thought, helped Britain overtake the Gallic economy by a whisker this year.

The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) said Britain's acceleration was also boosted by the inclusion of sex and drugs to UK growth. While the addition of prostitution and illegal drugs form part of new pan-European accounting standards, France has refused to comply with EU rules because it does not consider them to be "voluntary commercial activities".

Eric Dubois, a director at INSEE, France's statistics office, has described drug use as a "dependency" that does not involve "free will". He said prostitution was the result of "Mafia networks and trafficking illegal immigrants".

Official estimates show prostitution added about £5.7bn to the UK economy in 2013, while illegal drugs were worth about £6.62bn.

This helped the UK to overtake France by the narrowest of margins, the CEBR's analysis showed. 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.

The CEBR expects Britain to pull further ahead of France in the coming years. This is despite concerns about the sustainability of the UK recovery raised after further data revisions this week showed growth in five out of the previous six quarters was weaker than thought.

Nominal UK GDP is expected to grow to $2.95 trillion in 2019, compared with $2.67 trillion in France.