Those always on the lookout for alternative indicators of economic activity may be in luck.
Earlier this week, the Office of the National Drug Control Policy released its annual survey of Cocaine production in the Andean region, or the three main Latin American countries where the powdery substance is sourced – Colombia, Peru and Bolivia. The results were disappointing, if only for wannabe drug lords. At a total of 620 metric tons of total potential pure cocaine production, 2012 blow production dropped 10% from 2011 and 41% from the 1055 metric ton record hit in 2001. However, the drop was mostly a function of Colombian production: the one time cocaine capital of the world has seen its potential output plunge from 700 tons a decade ago to just 175 estimated tons in 2012.