Will the royal baby boy buoy the economy? This question was on almost no one's lips as the third in line to the throne was born on Monday. But on the day the Prince of Cambridge emerged into the world, some economists could not restrain themselves.
Howard Archer, chief European and UK economist at IHS Global Insight, published a note predicting the effect of the birth would be "overwhelmingly positive". His analysis was reported with more gusto outside the UK, but he was not alone in his economic soothsaying.
(Read more: Duchess of Cambridge gives birth to baby boy)
The Center for Retail Research, a Nottingham-based company that claims to provide "authoritative and expert research and analysis of the retail and service sectors in Britain, Europe and globally" made something of a splash with an even more specific forecast. The new prince will boost retail sales, it said, by the rather exact figure of £243 million in the very specific period of nine weeks between 1 July and 31 August.
The center boasts on its website that it has had coverage "all over the world" in at least 20 different media outlets for its estimate that festivities spending will rise £87 million, souvenirs by £80 million and books and DVDs by £76 million. According to its expert and authoritative analysts: "Three million bottles of champagne and sparkling wine will be opened to celebrate the new baby".