Economic experts fear Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral will further damage the UK’s economy


Experts have warned that the UK’s recession-threatened economy, which saw a rebound in July, may take a hit from the public holiday marking Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral next week.

Following a 0.6 per cent drop in June, the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) saw an expansion of 0.2 per cent, reports AFP citing a statement by the Office for National Statistics. 

Experts have attributed the June dip to a public holiday for Queen’s platinum jubilee, which marked her 70 years on the throne. Now another public holiday is scheduled next week for her funeral.

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“The feeble 0.2-percent bounce back in July was driven by weak GDP in June due in part to the loss of working days from the Jubilee long weekend,” notes KPMG UK chief economist Yael Selfin.

He also expressed concern that the GDP in July remained below May levels, as per him this points to “overall contraction over the first two months of summer.”

“Looking ahead, the extra public holiday for the queen’s funeral on September 19 has the potential to be more damaging for the economy than the extra day off for the Jubilee in June,” said Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

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He predicts that, unlike in June, many businesses will not be able to catch up on work and that the funeral will hit September GDP by 0.2 per cent.

As per the Bank of England (BoE) forecast, UK inflation which is already at a 40-year high will keep surging this year.

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Rising energy and food costs combined with decades-high inflation will trigger a recession in the UK economy before the end of the year, BoE has predicted.

There is typically only one public holiday in Britain during the summer, but for the Jubilee celebrations, the holiday was doubled, and now the day off for the funeral means that millions of Britons get two extra public holidays. 

(With inputs from agencies)


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