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Norfolk and Suffolk economy could get a £120m boost from the Royal Wedding

PUBLISHED: 11:39 18 May 2018 | UPDATED: 08:56 19 May 2018

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding could provide a financial boost for Norfolk and Suffolk. Picture: PA Wire/PA Images

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding could provide a financial boost for Norfolk and Suffolk. Picture: PA Wire/PA Images

PA Wire/PA Images

The Royal Wedding could provide a much needed boost for retailers and the hospitality trade with spending on memorabilia and celebrations expected to boost the region’s economy.

Research suggests Norfolk and Suffolk could be in line for a £120m increase in spending as a result of the nuptials between Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.

The Norwich-based Centre for Retail Research has estimated there will be £30m spent on memorabilia, £35m on celebrations, £10m on special edition newspapers and books, and £45m on fashion sales as shoppers try to buy the new princess’s style.

Centre director Prof Joshua Bamfield said as well as UK buyers he also thought there would be an increase in tourism and sales from the US, Ms Markle’s country of birth.

With pubs allowed to stay open longer and groups organising street parties the food and drink sector is likely to benefit from the event.

Others, such as Horsford firm Norfolk China, will be hoping to drive sales with a range of Royal Wedding mugs and memorabilia.

While the Royal Wedding is likely to spark increased spending it may have negative effect on productivity with people taking time off to celebrate it, according to Howard Archer, chief economic advisor to the EY Item Club.

He said: “The UK economy could certainly do with a lift after a poor first quarter of the year and a slow start to the second quarter.

“There should be some benefits to the UK economy from the Royal Wedding, although we would be wary of over-egging the potential impact or seeking to put a hard figure on the potential gains. We suspect there will be a very limited, temporary boost to the economy focused on some sectors, notably retail, tourism and, possibly, catering and pubs.

“The retail sector will benefit from people buying Royal Wedding souvenirs, such as plates, cups and magazines.”

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