Taylor Swift, Beyonce and Barbenheimer have moved the needle on the U.S. economy, boosting summertime growth by 0.5%, Bloomberg economists predict.
The two superstar’s concert tours and the blockbuster box office receipts of “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer,” have economists for the news and financial data outlet “Crazy in Love,” nearly doubling their predictions for US economic growth this summer.
The Bloomberg team pointed to $5.4 billion of spending by Swifties and the Bey Hive, who flocked to almost 50 concerts across the country, along with a projected $3.1 billion in spending at the box office — and the concession stands — by moviegoers as providing a big boost for the overall economy.
The projections come as inflation has slowed down and consumer spending has picked up steam, meaning a not-so “Cruel Summer” for fans who packed sold out stadiums for Swift’s “Eras” tour and Beyonce’s “Renaissance” tour, often driving up hotel prices in the cities where the tours stopped, while packing restaurants and booking up all the Ubers in town.
It may seem like “Sweet Dreams” to attribute such a significant impact to individual tours or movies on an economy the size of the U.S.’s, but the predictions are not outlandish.
The Federal Reserve itself pointed to Swift’s three-day stop in Philadelphia in May as helping to create “slight growth” in tourism in the region in the second quarter. And Beyonce’s fans were credited with driving up inflation in Sweden at the start of her tour after word got out that jetting to Stockholm for the weekend cost less than tickets for many U.S. stops.
In fact, the boost from the entertainment juggernauts could even play into delaying or preventing a recession, the economists say.
However, with neither star spending much time on stage in the U.S. the last three months of the year and the draw of the two movies waning — the Bloomberg economists called “Barbenheimer” a “once-in-a-blue moon” event — the boost will likely be short-lived.
Swift is currently performing in Mexico, and has only nine nights scheduled in the U.S. for the remainder of the tour: three in Miami in October, followed by three in New Orleans and three in Indianapolis before she decamps to South America, for the remainder of the year.
Beyonce is in Las Vegas this weekend, then heads to San Francisco, LA, Seattle, Dallas, Houston, and New Orleans before finishing out in Kansas City on Oct. 1.
“A large chunk of that strength comes from temporary factors,” the economists wrote. “These factors create a mirage of resilient consumption, when in fact it’s running out of steam.”
In other words, it’s “Too Early to Tell” whether there is still a “Countdown” to a recession.