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EU takes steps to recognise R&D as part of GDP

Research-intensive EU countries have seen their GDP figures rise since R&D spending was reclassified as an investment rather than an expense.

According to figures issued by Eurostat on 17 October, GDP levels have increased by an average of 1.9 per cent in the 28 EU member states because of the change to how R&D spending is categorised.

“The highest impact was in small, research-intensive countries like Finland and Sweden, which both saw an increase in GDP of 4 per cent because of R&D spending,” says Silke Stapel-Weber, the director of national accounts at Eurostat. Ireland’s increase was 3.5 per cent, followed by Denmark and Belgium. The impact on the GDP of member states in the south and east was much lower.

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