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Italian Underground Economy Was as Much as 17.5% of GDP in 2008

July 13 (Bloomberg) -- Italy’s underground economy was valued at between 16.3 percent and 17.5 percent of gross domestic product in 2008, statistics office Istat said today in an e-mailed statement.

The cash value of the underground economy reached as much as 275 billion euros ($344.6 billion) in 2008, Istat said. The underground economy as a percentage of GDP has tended to decline since reaching a high of as much as 19.7 percent in 2001, Istat said.

Istat includes an estimate of the underground economy in its quarterly GDP calculations.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Scherer at sscherer@bloomberg.net

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