Closure as mark of respect for Queen’s death could hurt UK economy

  • Businesses, including London Zoo, Legoland and Selfridges, were closed Friday in honor.
  • The Bank of England predicted a 12-month recession in the UK from the end of the year.
  • The closure of stores and tourist destinations could hurt businesses facing an imminent recession.

With the economy teetering on the brink of recession, Britain mourns the death of its longest-reigning monarch and needs all the help it can get.

After Queen Elizabeth II died at the age of 96 on Thursday, many UK businesses have scaled back operations in honor.

The Tower of London, London Zoo and Legoland Windsor were among the businesses that closed on Friday, while department store Selfridges will remain closed until the end of this week.

In the world of sports, the Premier League has postponed matches until next Monday, and many golf and horse racing events have also been adjusted.

Clothing retailer French Connection closed all of its stores on Friday, while luxury brands Burberry and Raf Simons canceled their London Fashion Week shows scheduled for next week, according to multiple reports.

The British Fashion Council has said London Fashion Week will continue, but the Queen’s Funeral Day show will be cancelled.

Further changes may be made to the mourning period until the funeral takes place on Monday, September 19, which could result in even more business closures. It’s likely, given that King Charles said Saturday, Funeral Day, would be a national holiday.

But these measures could make life difficult for a UK economy that can’t exactly take time off. In August, the Bank of England predicted that the UK would enter a year-long recession from the end of this year. And while business closures for a few days may not send the UK into recession, it won’t help.

In the United States, where the Federal Reserve is raising interest rates to combat inflation, a short spending holiday could ease price pressures and allow the Fed to cut back on rate hikes. Some might argue. But inflation in the UK is even higher, hitting her 10.1% in July, the highest in 40 years, but there’s reason to believe this won’t be all that effective.

This is because energy prices are likely to rise in the US in the coming months, while the UK is expected to soar, with inflation likely to exceed 20% next year. The impending crisis has led Britain’s new Prime Minister Liz Truss to announce his $150 billion plan to freeze household energy bills over the next 18 months.

Energy prices and inflation are set to rise significantly whether Britons cut spending over the next week or not. Less money flowing into local museums and department stores will only hurt those businesses and the people who work there.

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