Italy Debt Tops 150% of GDP Without Underground, Illegal Economy

Updated on
  • Calculations based on new data from statistics agency Istat
  • Illegal economy alone grew to 16.9 billion euros in 2014

Italy’s public debt would exceed 150 percent of the value of all goods and services produced in the country without the contribution of the illegal and underground economy to national wealth.

The ratio of debt-to-gross domestic product this year would amount to 152.6 percent, according to Bloomberg News calculations based on new data on the so called “non-observed economy” released on Friday by the Rome-based statistics office Istat. That compares with the official debt load of 132.8 percent forecast by the government last month.

The total of underground and illegal economy was worth 211.3 billion euros ($232.8 billion) in 2014, the most recent year for which data are available, Istat said in a statement earlier in the day. That included revenue from illegal drugs, smuggling and prostitution in addition to taxes evaded by companies and individuals.

Jobs not complying with labor regulations were 3.7 million that year, Istat also said.