World Cup 'may have depressing impact on economy'

19 June 2006
Contrary to popular economic beliefs and forecasts, the World Cup has had an overall depressing impact on the UK economy in June after retail sales figures for John Lewis showed a 4.6 per cent year-on-year reduction.

The big-name high street department store has said that the likely reason for the depressing impact so far is that England's first game of the tournament had fallen on a Saturday afternoon – a traditional prime shopping time.

Howard Archer, the regional managing director for economic analysts, Global Insight, has said that although economic retail sales figures for June were down, this was more than offset by the boost pre-World Cup sales had given to the economy.

However, he also noted that shopping figures may remain low if England progress further in the tournament.

"A large number of people are likely to spend more of their leisure time at home through June and early July to watch the World Cup, with some of this being at the expense of time that they would otherwise be looking round the shops.

"In addition, the vast majority of people buying flat-screen TV's and items such as England t-shirts and flags for the World Cup have probably now made their purchases," Mr Archer noted.

"On the positive side, a good run by England would be liable to provide an extended significant boost to alcohol sales," he continued, "and the World Cup in general is likely to boost sales of home delivery pizzas, curries and Chinese meals, as well as takeaway meals and snacks."

Popular belief before the tournament was that the World Cup would unequivocally boost the general economy of the UK by prompting unusually high retail figures, however, as Global Insight have pointed out, it has also been a source for negative trends as well.

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