Did the Beyonce effect drive up the cost of living? Surging admission prices for major live events contributed to growing inflation, figures reveal
- Seeing Beyonce was priceless for many, but it might have damaged the economy
Devoted fans travelled all around the country for her, spending hundreds of pounds on tickets, transport and overnight stays at hotels.
But although for many the chance to see Beyonce in the flesh was priceless – it might have come at a cost to the economy.
Official figures show surging admission prices for live events was among the factors behind the higher than expected inflation recorded in May, when the rate hit 8.7 per cent.
The ONS index for recreational and cultural goods and services, which includes ticket prices, was up by 6.8 per cent – its highest rate since August 1991.
Last month US superstar Beyonce held five UK concerts as part of her Renaissance World Tour – and when she arrived in Cardiff, hotel rooms were being advertised for up to £1,000 a night.
Although for many the chance to see Beyonce (pictured performing in London) in the flesh was priceless – it might have come at a cost to the economy
Last month US superstar Beyonce held five UK concerts as part of her Renaissance World Tour – and when she arrived in Cardiff (pictured), hotel rooms were being advertised for up to £1,000 a night
Meanwhile in Sweden, the Beyonce Effect was blamed for higher than expected inflation, with one economist suggesting fans had pushed up the demand for hotel rooms and restaurants so much that it affected the headline figure.
The UK ONS report also pointed to more humdrum factors such as sales of second hand cars and computer games keeping inflation high.
There was also a 10.3 per cent rise in restaurant and hotel prices, which some linked to the Coronation bank holiday.
Michael Hewson, chief markets analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: ‘Sweden blamed the Beyonce Effect for a surprise rise in their own headline inflation rates, and the same thing appears to have happened here in the UK.’
But Chris Hare, from HSBC, disagreed, saying: ‘There was an upward contribution worth 0.06 percentage points from recreation and culture, mainly due to admission to music events, computer games and live package holidays.’
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