2013 growth improved to 0.2pc, boost from prostitution and drugs
GDP growth for first three months rose 2.7pc due to strong exports
THE inclusion of prostitution and certain illegal drug activities in the national accounts have helped improve growth last year to 0.2pc, official data shows.
An earlier estimate had predicted that the economy had contracted by 0.3pc in the same period.
Gross domestic product in the first three months of the year rose 2.7pc due to strong exports.
Overall, the bulk of the improvement was due to how Research and Development (R&D) spending is now classified under new EU rules.
However, the estimation and recording of certain illegal activities such as prostitution in the accounts has also had a small impact, the Central Statistics Office said
The CSO had already estimated fuel smuggling and drug smuggling activities, but this is the first time that prostitution has been included and comes about because of new EU rules.
It had previously been estimated that gross domestic product contracted by 0.3pc last year.
The figures will likely give a boost to the Government as it prepares for October's Budget.