Prince William and Duchess Kate's baby boy could provide UK economy with £240m boost

Surprised Baby

Retail industries set to enjoy a prosperous short-term future…

The arrival of the third in line to the UK throne was made official on Monday, July 22 as the news was displayed on an ornate easel outside Buckingham Palace, London. The baby boy, son to Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, arrived at 16:24 BST and weighed 8lb 6oz. When the news was made official, at 20:30 local time, crowds who had gathered in their thousands in the City of Westminster, created a party atmosphere.

The immediate impact of the royal birth is said to bode well for the British economy. The global media interest coupled with the current fervent feeling in Britain will have an instant impact for retail sales and suppliers, according to the Centre for Retail Research.

Souvenirs and commemorative merchandise, alcohol to toast the birth and carriage manufacturers will all be impacted while bookmakers have already received a boost from punters taking bets on the baby's name (George is currently favoured).

A Retail Research statement released prior to the birth said: 'We expect £25 million to be spent on food for 4.8 million people, who will join in the mostly local and informal festivities and parties, including those in back gardens. Increased spending on alcohol is expected to amount to £62 million.'

The report added: '£80 million is likely to be spent on souvenirs and toys including items sold overseas. Fourteen million souvenirs with a total value of £56 million and toys (£24 million) are likely to be sold to enthusiasts and collectors [while] £40 million will be spent on books, £36 million on DVD and media connected to this event and to the Royal Family.'

Sales will not just be made domestically, but also abroad as, in Commonwealth countries and in the United States, the Royal Family are regarded to provide 'good news' stories: 'Sales abroad of souvenirs, toys, books and DVD/media are expected to be £37 million. This figure includes overseas sales by online UK retailers.'

There has long been a press obsession with the image and style of the Duchess. She is often placed favourably on various 'best dressed' magazine lists and she has quickly become a fashion icon. This is expected to transcend to her baby.

The report concluded that: 'Sales of prams and pushchairs [could] rise by 13% (an increase of £33 million to a new total of £288 million) as new parents 'trade up' to more exclusive baby carriages.'

While economist forecasts are generally united in the outlook that there will be vastly increased spending (Mothercare chief executive Simon Calver told the Financial Times last Friday that there 'could be some uptick in the birth rate' and a royal birth is 'always good news'), any boost in the economy will likely be short-lived.

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