The Death of Queen Elizabeth II & The Impact on the UK Economy
The passing of the UK’s longest-serving monarch, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, has taken an immense emotional toll on the UK, and the wider Commonwealth. How will this week’s funeral and the 10-day mourning period that preceded it, impact the UK economy? Let’s find out.
UK’s relative rebound hits pause
The UK had been enjoying a slight uptick in economic fortunes of late. According to the Office for National Statistics, British gross domestic product expanded 0.2% after dropping 0.6% in June.
Interestingly, June’s decline had partly been attributed to the extra public holiday for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee marking Her Majesty’s incredible 70 years on the throne.
Against a backdrop of double-digit inflation, the risk of a recession, numerous strikes and a fall in sterling — the recent rise in GDP was an achievement not to be sniffed at.
How the UK economy may be affected
Britain hasn’t mourned a monarch for 70 years, so this is an almost unprecedented event with very little signals as to how the economy will be affected. The impact will likely only be known well after the event. However, the following could happen, or already has…
#1 Monetary policy put on hold
The 10-day mourning period has caused many institutions to put their plans on hold, not least the Bank of England, whose Monetary Policy Committee was supposed to meet last Thursday. As a result, that inflation rate is going nowhere until the usual schedule resumes.
#2 Truss’ relief plan delayed
New UK PM Liz Truss announced a massive aid plan for British households just 2 days into her premiership. It’s expected that her plan will result in a two-year freeze on energy prices for individuals and a six-month freeze for businesses and public institutions. But nothing can happen until the House of Commons gets to vote on the plan, which is now off the agenda until after the Queen’s funeral.
#3 The day off might cost a bit
As we said before, the GDP rise came following the dip in June, which was a direct result of the extra Bank Holiday as production and construction sectors saw a decline in productivity.
Another public holiday was declared for the Queen’s funeral, which means that the British economy will have two more holidays in 2022 than in a normal year. The difference this time is that the holiday and tourism industry is unlikely to benefit as they did in June.
That’s all besides the cost of the funeral itself. State funerals are expensive. The Queen Mother’s funeral in 2002 reportedly cost around £5.4 million, while Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997 was between £3 million and £5 million.
#4 A rise in tourism and trade?
Generally speaking, major royal events can see a rise in UK tourism and trade. This is usually related to happier occasions, however, for example, royal weddings. This remains to be seen this time, but it’s true that the Royal family does bring a huge amount of revenue to UK tourism.
#5 The FTSE strengthens
The FTSE 100, the UK’s benchmark index, closed 1.4% higher on the day of the Queen’s death, with mining companies leading the way thanks to a softening dollar.
Investors were also buoyed by the fact that the London Stock Exchange confirmed that markets remained open as normal during the official period of mourning. However, it was closed for trading out of respect for the Queen’s funeral.
What’s your take on the UK economy?
If you’re a GBP or FTSE trader, how have you adapted your strategy in light of this sad news? What are your predictions for the UK economy? Let us know by tweeting us at @_contentworks.
What’s on the trading agenda this week?
A relatively quiet week lies ahead for the currency markets. Here are all of the top events to take note of.
UK stock market closed. No major events are planned.
● JPY — Inflation Rate YoY (AUG)
● CAD — Core Inflation Rate MoM (AUG); Core Inflation Rate YoY (AUG); Inflation Rate YoY (AUG)
● USD — FOMC Economic Projections; Fed Interest Rate Decision; Fed Press Conference
● JPY — BoJ Interest Rate Decision
● GBP — BoE Interest Rate Decision
No major events are planned.
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