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World Cup win &#39could put boot in to economy&#39

Success for England in the World Cup would be unlikely to stimulate the UK economy, according to Halifax.

Although the economy tends to be more buoyant when England reach the quarter-finals, it is often fairly weak if the team progresses to the last four, its survey found.

Halifax says the news will come as a blow to politicians, who it claims often schedule elections during World Cup campaigns to benefit from the national “feelgood factor”.

On the two occasions when England reached the semi-finals, Halifax found that UK economic performance was relatively poor. In 1966, when England won the World Cup, GDP increased by 1.9 per cent while in 1990 it rose by just 0.8 per cent.

Even disregarding team performance, the economy suffers slightly in most World Cup years. Halifax found UK GDP since 1950 has averaged 2.5 per cent but this fell to 2.3 per cent in World Cup years. But consumer spending growth does tend to be stronger in World Cup years, rising by 2.7 per cent compared with the average 2.6 per cent.

Group economist Martin Ellis says: “A successful World Cup campaign would lift the mood of the nation even if it does not have a discernible impact on the economy.”

•Investment, p230



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