How much of a boost has the Royal wedding provided to the moribund British economy?
That was the question being asked as new government figures show feeble growth so far this year after a slump in UK GDP at the end of last year.
An influx of ready-to-spend tourists was offset by a major loss of productivity with Britons taking a day off for the wedding, one of a series of public holidays which mean quite a few people would not be at work for a full two weeks:
Analyst Cristina Rotariu, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, said: “I think from an employers point of view, having all your employees taking two days of holidays and disappearing for an entire two weeks, is a negative.. but the economy is always a self fulfilling prophesy, so if you feel positive about it, it will be positive.”
At the final count the event is expected to have generated 240 million euros extra spending on travel and tourism, 234 million euros on souvenirs and other wedding-related merchandise and 365 million euros on food.
But it would take a lot of souvenir sales to make up for the 6.8 billion euros in lost productivity estimated by the employers organisation the Confederation of British Industry which said it was concerned about the effect that will have on the recovery of the fragile UK economy.