Taylor Swift, Beyoncé and Barbenheimer Are Expected to Add Billions to US Economy

Economists see “once-in-a-blue moon” boost from the concerts and movies supporting third-quarter growth.

(Bloomberg) — Taylor Swift, Beyoncé and “Barbenheimer” fever are giving a serious boost to the US economy.

The megastars’ tours and blockbuster films are expected to add up to $8.5 billion to US growth in the third quarter, according to Bloomberg Economics. The nearly 50 US concerts the artists have scheduled could add $5.4 billion to gross domestic product, while the films Barbie and Oppenheimer are projected to add about $3.1 billion in consumer spending and exports from international ticket sales.

Taken together, that would raise annualized real personal consumption expenditures and GDP by 0.7 and 0.5 percentage points, respectively, in the July-through-September period, economists Anna Wong and Eliza Winger wrote in a note late Wednesday. The economists nearly doubled their forecast for growth in the July-to-September period, partly as a result of the spending gains.

The projections further support an economy that has picked up steam in recent months. Inflation is abating and the labor market remains firm, helping power consumer spending. That’s prompting some economists to delay their recession calls, while others are scrapping them altogether.

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Still, the Bloomberg team argues that the boost provided by the movies and tours is short-lived. They noted neither Beyoncé nor Swift are scheduled to hit the stage in the US in the last three months of the year, and described “Barbenheimer” as a “once-in-a-blue moon” event. What’s more, the economy is still vulnerable to a drop-off in demand and the housing market is under pressure from low supply and climbing mortgage rates. 

“A large chunk of that strength comes from temporary factors,” they wrote. “These factors create a mirage of resilient consumption, when in fact it’s running out of steam.”

The economists only considered ticket sales for Barbie and Oppenheimer through Wednesday, and didn’t include net-export effects of the four concerts Swift is performing in Mexico City this week.

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