The UK is the world’s fifth largest economy globally when you look at gross domestic product (GDP) in nominal terms, so the impact of the Rugby World Cup (RWC) will be less pronounced than in many other smaller economies. Still, the economic benefits to the UK are real and according to Ernst and Young’s estimates, some 466,000 international visitors will make their way to the UK to watch the games.
In fact, the total number of spectators should easily eclipse any prior rugby tournament and should be just shy of the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Japan. In total the Rugby World Cup is expected to deliver up to £2.2 billion in output to the UK economy.
Given the level of attendance and spectators and impact on future growth the natural beneficiaries will be UK and some European listed shares. With discretionary spend likely to add to a pick-up in retail sales, I continue to like sterling exposure relative to currencies dependent on commodities.