Sunday, March 11, 2007

World Cup: business story

The Cricket World Cup, due to start next week and last almost two months, could hit Britain's economic productivity by 270 million pounds (397 million euros, 521 million dollars), according to an independent study published Saturday.
"Although it will not grab the internationalimagination to the same extent as the soccer World Cup it remains the case that,even to those only half interested, watching cricket is one of the best ways ofavoiding working known to man," said the study by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).
"Two of England's matches, against New Zealand on 16March and against Pakistan on 30 March, are on Friday afternoons and will bevery tempting to those who feel inclined to stay on in the pub after lunch,"said CEBR chief executive Douglas McWilliams, the report's author.
McWilliams said his independent consultancy estimates a loss of about 5.0 percent of aday's gross domestic product for each day of the World Cup. "This would costthe economy about 270 million pounds gross, just enough to be noticed in some ofthe monthly economic figures.
"England will also play Kenya on Saturday 24 March and the West Indies on Saturday 21 April, which could affect shopping,"McWilliams said. He added that most of the lost productivity would, however,likely be made up before the end of 2007. Meanwhile, people watching on bigscreens in clubs and pubs could spend an additional 20 million pounds for eachmatch and there would be some additional spending on advertising and promotionsassociated with the competition, the CEBR said.
"England are by no means thefavorites to win given their one day international performance in recent years.The estimates above therefore assume that England fail to make the finals," thereport concluded. "But, of course, if they do get to the final in Barbados onSaturday 28 April, we would need to do some further calculations. If they do so,it should be a further boost to clubs and pubs and a hit on Saturday afternoon shopping."

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