Bank Holiday Blues for the Economy?

Posted on 27 August, 2012 by Kirsten Kennedy

Everyone loves a good Bank Holiday – an extra day of sleeping in, socialising with friends and even hitting some high street commercial properties for a spot of retail therapy if we feel particularly motivated. However, with an extra Bank Holiday in the calendar this year for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, added to the fact that we are all still recovering from the Olympics, the question is whether the economy in this country can really afford another day off?

During the course of the Olympics, the promised economic spike promised to us by the Olympics Committee throughout the bid for the Games, and all the way up to the Opening Ceremony, really failed to materialise. In fact, when July sales were posted, it seemed as if the international event affected UK retail commercial properties in a negative way if anything. Sales in July increased by only 0.3 per cent nationally – which is rather disappointing considering that July is usually a highly successful month in the retail industry.

Additionally, the Games have helped wipe a colossal £1 billion from the UK economy due to many employees choosing to work from home or take annual leave during the course of the Games. The London Chamber of Commerce estimates that around 1.5 million workers chose to abandon the office in favour of their own house over fears about public transport, crowding and delays, leading to an according drop in productivity. While the Centre for Economics and Business Research claims that the Olympics have been good for the country in the long run, and will have paid for themselves by 2021, it is still fair to say that this year will be financially rather tight for an already squeezed Great Britain.

This brings us back to the original question – can Britain really afford another Bank Holiday so soon after the Jubilee and the Olympics? It very much depends on the public. If consumers choose to take advantage of the day off by staying in bed all day then no, probably not. However, there are many things you can do to help the economy along whilst simultaneously enjoying yourself.

For example, much of the UK is expected to have, if not quite the Indian Summer weather we were all hoping for, at least clear skies for Sunday night and Monday daytime. This provides a perfect opportunity to spend Sunday evening sitting in your local public house’s beer garden, enjoying what will possibly be the last of the good weather this year.

Alternatively, popping into town for a wander around the shops is a fantastic way to pass the time on a Bank Holiday, possibly with a stopover in the local cinema or bowling alley for some quality time with friends thrown in for good measure.

In a year where much of the economic forecast is gloomy at best, it is good to remember that the pennies don’t have to be counted every single day. By spending a little, you are helping the economy recover slowly but surely, as with more money being circulated the chances of the country pulling itself out of the recession increases exponentially. So as you tuck into that dinner at a local commercial property restaurant, or enjoy a cheeky drink or two at the pub, remember – you’re doing it for Britain!

What are your plans for this Bank Holiday? Do you tend to spend during the holidays, or do you prefer to stay at home and relax?

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