Did Beyoncé’s two concerts in Sweden have an impact on the country’s inflation?

Beyoncé fans line up to enter the Friends Arena to attend the first concert of her world tour titled 'Renaissance World Tour', in Solna, north of Stockholm, on May 10, 2023.

It took seven years to see her back on stage alone. Beyoncé launched, on May 10 and 11 in Stockholm, her new world stadium tour, called Renaissance World Tour, named after her album released in 2022. The American attracted nearly 90,000 people in two nights to the Friends Arena in the Swedish capital – among them, many international spectators. A significant attendance for the city, which has nearly 975,000 inhabitants.

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The publication of the national economic indicators for the month of May, published a few weeks later, inspired an atypical hypothesis in Michael Grahn, the chief economist of the Danske Bank in Sweden: would the tourist influx caused by the two concerts have had consequences for inflation?

The expert considers that the arrival of “Queen B” in the kingdom accounted for 0.2 out of 0.3 percentage points added to inflation by the hotel and restaurant sector last month. ” That’s pretty amazing for a single event. We have never seen this before”he comments to the British business daily FinancialTimes. ” We are waiting for each other, did he temper on Twitter, expect this upside surprise to reverse in June, when hotel and ticket prices return to normal”.

According to Statistics Sweden, consumer prices rose 9.7% year on year in May, a slowdown from the 10.5% year-on-year rise seen the previous month. Economists, however, had expected a stronger slowdown, to 9.2%. In detail, it noted a 0.3% rise in inflation in the restaurant and hotel sector (which now stands at 3.3%) and 0.2% in the leisure, without however linking, in its analysis, this increase to the two concerts of the superstar.

Without a doubt, the eighth tour of the queen of R’n’B is an event with significant economic benefits. According to a BBC estimate, his series of concerts across stadiums in part of the world could bring in nearly 2 billion dollars in revenue by September 27, the date of the last show that will take place in New Orleans.

A limited and temporary effect

For Catherine Mathieu, economist and president of the Association of European Economic Institutes, however, Michael Grahn’s analysis must be put into perspective. The researcher believes that “even if Beyoncé’s two concerts had an impact on accommodation prices, they are not able to have a significant impact on inflation in Sweden in the month of May”.

“Of course, there may be a greater demand for meals and rooms in hotels, as we observe in Paris when trade fairs are organized there, during Roland-Garros or as will be the case during the Olympic Games which will take place. next yearexplains the economist. But restaurants aren’t going to raise the prices of their dishes because Beyoncé is coming. » As for the ticket prices – between 60 and 140 dollars compared to 91 to 689 dollars in Las Vegas – which are not very high for such a spectacle, “they alone cannot explain inflation in the leisure sector”emphasizes Catherine Mathieu, who recalls that no other country has made a similar parallel after the passage of the singer.

Catherine Mathieu notes the punctuality of these effects, which are very temporary, and predicts that the three concerts that Bruce Springsteen will give on June 24, 26 and 28 in Gothenburg will only influence the price of accommodation for a limited time and that they will only have “nothing to worry about” macro-economists or Swedish central bankers. “The question that concerns the Central Bank of Sweden today is to slow down the inflation which has still been high in recent months due to energy prices”she concludes.

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