Italy has found that illegal revenue from prostitution, narcotics, and black market cigarettes and alcohol have taken the nation out of recession, according to data calculations of GDP across the European Union.


Italian GDP rose from a 0.1 percent decline for the first quarter to a flat reading, the National Institute of Statistics said. It indicates Italy escaped its third recession in the last six years.


The revision was a green light for Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s government, which is now struggling to boost the economy and implement reforms while keeping the deficit below the EU’s 3 percent ceiling.


AFP said regarding the news that the black market revenue is also expected to “help reduce Italy’s debt to GDP ratio, which stands at a 132 percent, more than twice the EU ceiling of 60 percent.”