Surge in World Cup pub trade boosts UK economy

13 January 2023 by
Surge in World Cup pub trade boosts UK economy

The UK economy unexpectedly grew in November, boosted by people going to the pub to watch the FIFA World Cup.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed the UK's gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 0.1%

The largest contributor to growth came from food and beverage service activities, which grew 2.2% during the month.

However, GDP fell by 0.3% between July and September last year.

The UK economy had been expected to fall into recession, which is defined as two three-month periods of shrinking economic output in a row, this year.

November's surprise rise in growth has meant it is now uncertain if the country is in a formal recession, which will depend on the next set of figures released in a month.

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said the data showed how the hospitality industry could drive economic recovery with spending in pubs and bars up 40% on matchdays.

"While hospitality has yet to recover to pre-Covid levels, in real terms, today's figures demonstrate the role the sector can play in boosting the economy," said Nicholls.

"While times are challenging right now, with the right support and investment the sector can both survive and thrive; delivering long-term economic growth, creating jobs and continuing its tradition of investing in our communities."

The cost of lost sales due to the impact of strike action is likely to be shown more starkly in next month's figures, Nicholls added.

Image: Gorodenkoff / Shutterstock

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