NewsNational/World NewsScripps News

Actions

'Barbie,' Beyonce, Taylor Swift: Economic forces driving growth

Americans are cutting back on expenses like clothing and furniture but spending more on travel, dining out and entertainment.
'Barbie,' Beyoncé, Taylor Swift: Economic forces driving growth
Posted at 1:09 PM, Aug 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-09 13:02:18-04

Who runs the world? Well, in the U.S., that would be Barbie, Beyoncé and Taylor Swift.

Taylor Swift's Eras Tour, along with Beyoncé's Renaissance World Tour and the blockbuster "Barbie" movie, are boosting the economy and could help avert a recession, according to multiple reports.

The U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), which is a measure of economic output, experienced growth at a rate of 2.4% last quarter, a growth rate that was faster than the pace observed in the previous quarter and also higher than the 1.8% rate that economists had predicted.

But what fueled the increase? You guessed it: spending. More accurately, women are spending.

Referred to as a 'she-conomy' by NPR, Americans are showing a trend of cutting back on certain expenses, such as clothing and furniture. However, they are indulging more in travel, dining out and attending concerts and movies.

Taylor Swift

I guess you can call it "The U.S. Economy (Taylor's Version)."

To such an extent, that the Federal Reserve's Beige Book, a compilation and evaluation of economic activity and circumstances throughout the U.S., acknowledged and recognized Swift with a mention.

"One contact highlighted that May was the strongest month for hotel revenue in Philadelphia since the onset of the pandemic, in large part due to an influx of guests for the Taylor Swift concerts in the city," the report said.

As she wraps up the first leg of the Eras Tour, Swift's concerts are anticipated to add over $4.6 billion in consumer spending to the U.S. economy, a Common Sense Institute report stated.

SEE MORE: Los Angeles politicians urge Taylor Swift to postpone tour dates

According to the report, through a poll conducted among concertgoers, it was found that, on average, they allocate approximately $1,327 for show-related expenses, including tickets, travel, merchandise, accommodations and food.

An economic impact that has captured the attention of world leaders, leading them to request and urge her to extend her tour to other countries.

"One day, she'll listen to the Chilean Swifties, and I have no doubt she'll come to Chile. Hopefully sometime within the next three years," said Chilean President Gabriel Boric in a YouTube video.

And of course, our neighbors up north also want a piece of this economic boom, with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau posting on social media, "It's me, hi. I know places in Canada would love to have you. So, don't make it another cruel summer. We hope to see you soon."

While her numbers are impressive, there are other two women icons who have also made a huge impact on the economy.

Beyoncé

Beyoncé's Renaissance World Tour is making waves across the globe with an impressive lineup of over 50 global stops.

It kicked off in May in Stockholm, jolted Sweden’s economy, and had a measurable impact on inflation.

Michael Grahn, the chief economist for Sweden at Danske Bank, amusingly labeled the country's inflation reduction from 10.5% in the previous month to 9.7% in May as a "Beyoncé blip," telling CNN that the surge in demand for hotel accommodations, restaurant services and recreational activities could be the reason behind the inflation reduction.

Now that Beyoncé is back in the U.S., her presence is fueling a notable surge in demand, and the impact extends beyond inflation rates.

According to a report by Yelp, local businesses, particularly those owned by Black, female and LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs, are witnessing a remarkable boost in sales and increased interest from consumers.

In the week leading up to Beyoncé's first stop in Philadelphia, Yelp saw a 21% search increase for hotels and travel, a 21% search increase for women-owned shops, a 14% search increase for Black-owned businesses, and a shocking 194% search increase for LGBTQ+-owned businesses.

Forbes says that based on ticket sales alone her tour has the potential to gross anywhere between $275 million and $2.4 billion.

'Barbie'

We are definitely in a Barbie world, as the film, led and produced by Margot Robbie, continues to enjoy tremendous success.

In just three weeks since its theatrical release, "Barbie," directed and co-written by Greta Gerwig, is on track to surpass $1 billion in global ticket sales. Last weekend alone, the film earned an additional $53 million from 4,178 North American locations, solidifying its top position for three consecutive weeks. 

A great movie has the potential to positively impact individual national economies in various ways, but while it's too soon to determine the exact extent of how much this profit will contribute to the U.S. economy, retailers, bars and restaurants have used their partnerships and the color pink to boost product sales since the movie was announced. 

CNN reported that Mattel, the manufacturer of Barbie, secured more than 100 brand deals for the movie. 

The love for this movie even drove prices up for certain vintage Barbie dolls, and pink merchandise flew off the shelves.

SEE MORE: 'Barbie' movie used up company's global supply of pink paint

Women make up over 70% of "Barbie" ticket buyers in the U.S., and according to a recent report by J.P. Morgan, "Barbie" ticket sales far exceeded box office expectations, leading to a significant surge in cinema stocks, such as AMC, IMAX and Cineworld, with AMC saying it saw the best single-week admissions revenue in the theater chain's 103-year history.

"It was Barbie that almost doubled Oppenheimer’s total sales during its opening weekend. While it’s yet to be seen if its hold remains, stocks at least seem to agree with the winner and have continued their summer vibe-shift," said the report.

During an open board meeting, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell was asked about how the demand for "Barbie" is impacting the broader economy.

"The overall resilience of the economy, the fact that we've been able to achieve disinflation so far without any meaningful negative impact on the labor market, the strength of the economy overall, that's a good thing," Powell said. "It's good to see that, of course. It's also you see consumer confidence coming up and things like that that will support activity going forward."

So the numbers don't lie. Barbie, Beyoncé and Taylor Swift are officially the bosses of the boost!


Trending stories at Scrippsnews.com