World Cup economic boost could be worth £2.6bn

The economy could receive a £2.6bn spending boost if England make it to the World Cup final, research suggests.

And every time an England footballer scores a goal, an extra £200m may be spent in the country’s shops and pubs.

Work done by the Centre for Retail Research (CRR) for VoucherCodes shows extra spending is already almost double what it was at the last World Cup.

The CRR estimates that spending will rise by more than £1bn as England moves on to the quarter finals on Saturday.

In its report on World Cup spending the CRR says: “Every goal scored by an England footballer – right the way to the final – would be worth £165.3m to England’s retailers and an extra £33.2m to pubs, hotels and restaurants.”

The CRR research breaks down where fans are spending extra cash in the latter stages of the competition.

  • Bars, hotels, pubs and restaurants – £175m
  • food and drink at home – £508m
  • TV electrical – £255m
  • Souvenirs and Sportswear – £71m

But if England makes it to the final, the CCR estimates that another £1.5bn will be spent.

That would mean the aggregate spending throughout the competition would then be close to £2.6bn.

Kicked in the teeth

Professor Joshua Bamfield, director at the CRR, said: “At the last World Cup we didn’t get past the group stage and from a retail point of view sales fell off a cliff.

“This time no one expected much – they were so used to being kicked in the teeth – but once they started playing it all changed.

“The spending patterns also fit in with the current retail theme of ‘experience’. People want to spend their money going to the pub or having a barbecue with their friend and watching the match.”

Last week pub owner Greene King, after reporting a disappointing set of profits for last year, said things were looking up thanks to the hot weather and the World Cup.

It had sold half a million extra pints during the Panama match.

Chief executive Rooney Anand said: ” It remains true that when the sun shines, or sport is on, people do want to go to the pub.”

New purchases

Prof Bamfield said that the World Cup also provided a reason for consumers to make certain purchases like new TV or electronic equipment.

He said: “People may have been meaning to get a new TV or computer for some time and the World Cup gives them the opportunity to make the decision. Also people are buying souvenirs, parents and grandparents are using the competition as a reason to buy kit for children.”

Economists are also seeing the competition add some optimism to the strong numbers from the country’s services sector in the latest Purchasing Managers’ Report.

Howard Archer, chief economist at EY Item Club, said: “A significantly improved survey for the dominant services sector adds to the feel good factor, after England actually winning a penalty shoot out to reach the quarter finals of the World Cup.”

However, if sporting success leads to stronger economic growth it may also lead to higher interest rates.

Higher interest rates

Andy Haldane – a member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) who decided to vote for an increase in rates at its last meeting, said World Cup success was adding to the general recovery of the economy.

He said: “The underlying picture now appears to be one of gently rising household spending.

“And then, of course, there is the World Cup. Without wishing to tempt fate, England’s recent sporting success on the football field… has probably added to that feelgood factor among England-supporting consumers.”

However, stock market investors did not let any enthusiasm for England’s win on Tuesday influence their investment strategies: the FTSE 100 index was 0.25% lower on Wednesday morning.