It also can't have escaped anybody's attention that the UK economy remains stuck in double-dip recession.
But is there any possibility that the former (the Olympics) can help end the latter (the double-dip recession)?
Looking for an 'Olympic bounce'
There is speculation that an "Olympic bounce" could help lift the economy out of recession:
- The combined value of ticket sales for the London 2012 Olympics (which The Economist estimates are "worth around 0.1% of GDP") will be included in the GDP figure for the third quarter of 2012.
- The Olympics are also expected to attract extensive additional business to the UK during their duration.
London 2012 Olympics could boost Q3 2012 GDP growth by up to 0.4 percentage points, says Goldman Sachs
The Olympics and Economics 2012 report from Goldman Sachs says:
[T]he overall short-term effect of staging the London Olympics will be to boost UK economic output in 2012Q3 by around 0.3-0.4 percentage points quarter-on-quarter (+1.2-1.6% quarter-on-quarter annualised).However, Goldman Sachs cautions us not too get too carried away. It says: "This short-term benefit will be largely reversed in Q4."
London 2012 Olympics could create economic 'happiness effect,' says Lloyds Banking Group
Taking a longer-term perspective, the 2012 Olympics could provide an estimated £16.5 billion boost to UK economy and creation of 62,200 jobs over the 12-year period from 2005 to 2017.
This is according to research from Lloyds Banking Group.
The Olympics' main contribution to GDP over this period will be felt in the construction sector, as a result of Olympics-related building projects, says Lloyds.Lloyds also expects an Olympics "happiness effect" to kick in:
[T]here will also be a "happiness effect" as the Games boost the public mood and spark a rise in consumer spending. This was equivalent to a gift of £165 per person in England during Euro 1996 and it is expected to be at least as big this time around."Olympics are good for morale, XpertHR survey finds
This theory of a "happiness effect" emerging from the London 2012 Olympics is also suggested by XpertHR benchmarking research on the impact of the Olympics on UK workplaces (XpertHR Benchmarking subscription required).
More than two-thirds of UK organisations surveyed by XpertHR agree or strongly agree with the following proposition regarding the impact of the London 2012 Olympics on morale and on business, while one in five disagrees: "Providing facilities for our employees to watch the Olympics or Paralympics is good for morale and for business."
However, it is also worth noting that one in five employers expects absenteeism to increase during the Olympics and Paralympics.
London 2012 Olympics hit London retailers hard
A more immediate economic impact of the London 2012 Olympics is that many London retailers saw sales slump last weekend as the games got underway, the BBC reports. It says that shoppers were reportedly staying away from central London in droves, "due to fears of overcrowding." Experian data show that retail footfalls were down 10.4% on Friday 27 July 2012 (the day of the Olympics opening ceremony), and 11.7% on Saturday 28 July 2012.
- XpertHR economic commentary August 2012: Going nowhere XpertHR's economic commentary for August 2012 looks at whether the Olympics might boost growth.
- Sporting Events: An Employer's Guide
Complete the form to download a special XpertHR Professional model
policy to deal with sporting or other special events (such as the World
Cup football tournament or the Olympics). Also includes an overview of
law relating to the policy and links to further relevant resources from
- 2012 Olympics The XpertHR Benchmarking survey on employers' arrangements for the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, based on responses from 185 organisations with a combined workforce of 495,000 employees (XpertHR Benchmarking subscription required).
- Olympics: Employer guidance To help employers deal with any issues that may arise, we have gathered together information from XpertHR on the subject, along with links to external resources for employers.
- HR data round-up June 2012: The costs and benefits of the 2012 Olympics XpertHR's HR data round-up for June 2012 looks at data around the potential costs and benefits to employers and to the UK economy of the upcoming 2012 Olympic games.