An official report claiming that London 2012 was worth £9.9 billion to UK trade is a “marketing exercise”, Vince Cable has admitted.
The Business Secretary said the figures may not survive “a rigorous academic approach” but added they were "the best we can do".
When grilled on the report on the BBC Radio Four Today programme, Cable said it was "essentially a marketing exercise, using methods approved by the National Audit Office, which is a very tough test."
He added: "It is the best we can do – it is not necessarily something that would pass muster in the best academic journals but a test of credibility has been applied to it."
The Government's £9.9 billion figure includes investments such as £1 billion for "regeneration in the centre of Croydon", 16 miles away from the Olympic Park.
More top news
Staying blustery for the next 24 hours with strong winds driving some rain, sleet and snow from west to east tonight.
The mother of murdered Boris Nemstov's girlfriend is worried her daughter is being treated as if she had something to do with the killing.
Student Charlie Mann was jailed for 16 months for the attack on his mother at their family home while high on Meow Meow.