Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and pub closures.

It was reported in The Publican’s Morning Advertiser that as of August 2011 pub closures are now down to 25 a week. However it is an improvement from 2008 when they peaked at 52 closures a week. Many have blamed the recession for many of the closures, which at best are only partially true, as even when the worst recession closure rate in 1990 was 1.2% was less than half of the 2007-11 rate of 2.775%.

The Guardian very kindly has published the GDP figures for the UK and let us look at Quarterly Growth pre and post the smoking ban, all figures are % positive growth unless stated.

2006       1.1  0.3  0.5  0.8            = 2.7%      closures of 200 pubs

2007       1.0  0.6  0.5  0.3            = 2.4%     closures of 1,409 pubs

2008       0.5  -0.3  -0.9  -2.1

2009      -2.2 -0.8  -0.3  -0.5

2010       0.2   1.1  0.7   -0.5

2011       0.5  0.2

Further analysis maybe needed, but with acceptable growth of 2.4% in 2007 only slightly down from 2006 by 0.3% 1200+ pubs can directly be put down to the smoking ban. As we return to positive growth in 2010/11 pubs are still shutting.










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3 Responses to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and pub closures.

  1. The usual defence is that pub customers are all astute readers of financial markets and stopped going to pubs before the recession as they had noticed the possibility of a US-led credit crunch after disappointing bad debt forecasts from Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac.

    How on earth can you counter such a perfect hypothesis, Dave, you conspiracy theorist? 😉

  2. Curmudgeon says:

    Some of your readers may not have seen my post explaining how the smoking ban is STILL closing pubs four years on. Of course the usual head-in-sand brigade won’t have it.

  3. Junican says:

    I used to play a lot of golf – I mean at least 3 times a week along with trips abroad and competitions here and there. One day, 3 years ago, standing on the 1st tee in October, I asked myself, “what the fu*k are you doing here?” I lost 2 balls on the 2nd hole. I decided to ‘rest’ over the winter. I have played once since.

    I used to enjoy drinking coffee. Some 12 months ago, just after a holiday in Spain, I decided that the coffee (instant) was not enjoyable. I stopped drinking it.

    If the circumstances are just so, habits break easily. Note the terminology. You do not have to break a habit consciously – it can break itself.

    On Sunday night, I went for a pint. It was a balmy night. One would expect people to be sitting outside in shirt sleaves. Not a single person. Inside, the pub was almost empty. Empty tables with menus on them.

    If the recession (what recession?) is involved, it will involve the diners, and not the drinkers. Thus we see another ASH diversionary tack – they caused the massive dissertion of pubs by smokers (a habit which broke itself), but the reliance of pubs on diners is subject to economic variations. They then claim that it was not the smoking ban which has killed pubs but the recession which has stopped people going out to dine!

    The smoking ban has done more than close pubs. It has deterred people from opening new bars to replace the old ‘magnificent edifices’. Who, with any brains, would risk opening a simple bar?

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