As Prince Harry and Meghan Markle get ready for their wedding this weekend, many will be asking what effect the celebration is expected to have on the UK economy.
While some economists have suggested that the royal nuptials will have little impact on the UK’s fiscal health, others are hopeful that it will provide a boost for several sectors. According to some estimates, the royal wedding could enhance the UK economy by up to £1 billion.
Boost anticipated for the food and drink industry
One industry likely to profit from the wedding is the food and drink industry. Licensing hours have been extended to allow pubs to stay open until 1am over the weekend, and the British Beer and Pub Association have predicted a sales uplift of up to £10 million as a result.
Similarly, using the marriage of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to forecast, the British Retail Consortium have suggested that retailers are likely to see an increase in food and drink sales around 19 May. Many of the larger supermarkets have special offers on alcohol and party essentials, and smaller businesses are likely to cash in on the excitement too.
With good weather expected on Saturday, it is likely that large crowds will gather to wish the newlyweds well. Around 100,000 people are expected to line the streets of Windsor where the wedding is taking place, offering an additional boost to nearby shops, restaurants and bars.
Elsewhere in the country, there have been applications for road closures, including 51 in Hertfordshire alone, which suggests that traditional street parties are planned. Many other people will celebrate at home with family and friends, and may raise a glass to the couple whilst watching the event on television.
The dry and sunny weather will no doubt encourage frivolity, leading to increased sales of drinks, party food and wedding merchandise. However, as no additional public holiday has been set to commemorate the occasion, there is unlikely to be a drop in productivity like there was after Prince William’s wedding in 2011. This could be good news for the economy.
Benefiting from temporary demand
While the ‘feel-good factor’ surrounding the wedding may benefit the UK economy this month, any uplift is expected to be temporary. For many small and medium enterprises, this highlights how daunting short-term demand can be as it is vital to be prepared, and have access to working capital, to take advantage of events like this one.
This is where invoice finance can be helpful for SMEs. By unlocking capital tied up in invoices, businesses get an immediate cash injection, making it easier to invest in short-term opportunities and ride out seasonal fluctuations in business.