Royal Wedding Woes: Long vacations could hurt the British economy

The front pages of British national newspapers showing images of Britain's Prince William and his fiancee Kate Middleton.

STACEY VANEK SMITH: In royal wedding news economists have worked out the real cost of this week's nuptials to the British economy, and it's going to cost a king's ransom.

As our own Stephen Beard reports from London.


STEPHEN BEARD: Forget the cost of policing the Royal Wedding. And the cost of all that pomp. Some economists say the real loss to the British economy will be a staggering $50 billion. This, they say, is because the wedding day -- this Friday -- has been declared a public holiday. And it falls between two long holiday weekends.
There's Good Friday and Easter Monday. And then Mayday next week.

The net effect is that many Brits may take off the three days in the middle, making an eleven day vacation in total. All that idleness could lop a quarter per cent off Britain's GDP.

But Justin Urquart-Stewart of Seven Investment dismisses this dismal forecast.

JUSTIN URQUART-STEWART: Actually when you give people time off and they're in a good mood and the weather's quite good, they'll be much more productive when they get back to work.

And -- he says -- the wedding may well inject a much needed burst of optimism into Britain's depressed consumer economy.

In London I'm Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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