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Olympics help UK bounce back for August Thursday, 11th October 2012
Photo credit: My Retail Media
The Olympics and Paralympics may have kept foreign visitors away from London this summer, but the latest figures suggest the ones that did arrive spent almost double the expected amount.
It appears the ‘ghost town’ effect London Games had on the capital may have actually paid off. Despite empty tube trains, markets and theatres, economists are now expecting the small lift in spending by tourists to help the UK out of a another term of recession.
The Office for National Statistics on Thursday revealed 3 million foreign visitors arrived in the UK in August, a 5 per cent decline from the same month in 2011, but spending that included Games tickets bought before or during their stay rose 9 per cent, bringing an all-time monthly record of £2.38 billion injection for the UK economy.
"The average amount of money spent by those people who either made their visit for an Olympics or Paralympics purpose or attended a ticketed event was almost twice as much as the average spent among other visitors," the ONS said.
The British economy is now expected to post growth in the three months from July- September as production bounced back after a number of public holidays hit spending in June.
Economists polled by Reuters said they expect growth of 0.6 per cent in the quarter, which would bring an end to the recession after three consecutive quarters of contraction in the British economy.