London: The royal wedding of British Prince William and Kate in April was supposed to have catalyzed Britain’s ailing economy, but official figures released on Tuesday showed that it was one of several events that affected GDP figures adversely.
The Office for National Statistic (ONS) said that growth in the UK economy slowed in the three months to 30 June. GDP grew by only 0.2 percent in the second quarter, which is down from the 0.5 percent growth in the previous quarter.
The ONS highlighted a number of special events in the second quarter that may have affected the GDP figures, such as the additional bank holiday for the royal wedding, the wedding itself, the after-effects of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, the first phase of Olympic ticket sales and the record warm weather in April.
During the build-up to the royal wedding, experts claimed that the enthusiasm for the event would have a positive impact on Britain’s economy, including from larger than usual entry of tourists.
The ONS estimated that without these events, GDP would have been 0.5 percentage points higher. While Chancellor George Osborne said the 0.2 per cent growth was good news, shadow chancellor Ed Balls accused him of choking the recovery.