'Jubilee Spending Boost - But Economy Is Down'

The four-day jubilee weekend has boosted UK tourism spending by £700m - but analysts predict the economy will still be down overall.

VisitEngland said four million people had taken overnight trips to mark the Queen's 60 years on the throne, spending an average of £175 each.

Spokesman Sarah Long said: "The jubilee celebrations have captivated audiences at home and around the world, and will hopefully attract increased visitor numbers for years to come."

Prime Minister David Cameron said the jubilee weekend offered the nation the opportunity to "show off the best of Britain".

Asked about the impact of the four-day weekend on the economy, Mr Cameron said: "People say that obviously bank holidays aren't good for the economy. I think it's more important than that.

"This year we have these two extraordinary events - 60 years of Her Majesty on the throne and the Olympics, and they're moments where we've got the chance to show off the best of Britain."

But a report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research suggests that each bank holiday costs the UK economy £2.3bn - more than offsetting any tourism surge.

Report author Daniel Solomon wrote that while the jubilee would weigh "less heavily" on the economy because of increased tourism, the event would still depress the nation's productivity.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport's "best estimate" is a £1.2bn loss to the economy as a result of the extra day's holiday.

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has said that national holidays can "lift the national mood" but insisted their value cannot be calculated.

Meanwhile, the Confederation of British Industry said that many businesses have already factored in the cost of the "entirely appropriate" bank holiday to their financial plans.

The second quarter of 2011 - which included Prince William's marriage to Kate Middleton - saw GDP fall by 0.1%.