London: The birth of the royal baby could add over 240 million pounds to the sluggish British economy as consumer spending gets a boost, analysts say.
The growing interest throughout the world in the first child of Prince William and Kate Middleton, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, has significant implications for retail sales and suppliers, according to a forecast by the Centre for Retail Research.
It said the birth of the baby, who will be third in line to the throne after Prince Charles and Prince William, will boost linked-in retail sales by around 243 million pounds during the nine weeks between July 1 and August 31.
While people will spend 87 million pounds on festivities, souvenirs and toys worth 80 million pounds would be sold after the royal birth. Books, DVDs and Media items worth 76 million pounds would be sold during the period, the Nottingham-based centre said.
"We expect 25 million pounds to be spent on food for 4.8 million people, who will join in the mostly local and informal festivities and parties. Increased spending on alcohol is expected to amount to 62 million pounds. Three million bottles of champagne and sparkling wine will be opened to celebrate the new baby," it said.
About 80 million pounds is likely to be spent on souvenirs and toys including items sold overseas. Fourteen million souvenirs with a total value of 56 million pounds and toys (24 million pounds) are likely to be sold to enthusiasts and collectors.
Around 40 million pounds will be spent on books and 36 million pounds on DVD and media connected to this event and to the Royal Family, the Centre said.
The birth of the royal baby will have a limited yet "overwhelmingly positive" effect on UK growth, according to Howard Archer, chief UK economist at IHS Global Insight.
"At the margin, the royal birth may provide the economy with a temporary, small positive boost at a time when it seems to be increasingly moving in the right direction," he said.
The most obvious support to growth will come via a pick -up in retail sales as people buy souvenirs and commemorative merchandise, as well as alcohol to toast the birth, he was quoted as saying by The Telegraph.
Archer also noted the lift bookies have already experienced as punters bet on the baby's sex and name.
Archer said a "feel good factor" around the birth could translate into a fleeting improvement in consumer confidence, which would come with "no obvious negative economic repercussions".
That contrasts with the Royal Wedding in 2011, when an extra day's public holiday to mark the occasion impacted the UK's economic output as workers downed tools. However, the festivities did appear to help retailers, as indexes tracking consumer confidence showed sentiment enjoyed a leap.
First Published: Monday, July 22, 2013, 19:49