August 30th, 2012
11:12 AM GMT
London (CNN) – From the budget, to economic benefits, to the legacy: No-one is talking about the Paralympics’ bottom line.
Perhaps it’s because Team GB and the London 2012 organization were so impressive, leaving the country revelling in the medal haul rather than totting up the bill.
The nation has gone sports-mad, now embracing the lesser-known (but I’ll bet just as exciting to watch), paralympic sports, from Murderball (think of it as wheelchair rugby) to Boccia (like bowls, but for athletes whose disabilities impact on their motor skills).
But - despite all this goodwill - the UK economy is refusing to play ball.
The economy is expected to grow in the third quarter of this year - but analysts don’t expect it to fully recover ground lost over the previous three months.
The Bank of England is worried that the economy will remain flat this year, and while UK unemployment has fallen, output has shrunk.
Economists tell me the much heralded “Olympic effect” will likely to be broadly neutral, across sectors such as transport, hotels and to retail.
Mega events, even those the size of the Olympics, are not the panacea to a nation’s economic woes.
But did we really expect those fundamental economic problems to wash away like a British summer?
What the Olympic Games have done, and I expect the Paralympics to reinforce, is foster a feel-good factor and a change in attitude towards Britain and its businesses.
The mood is more positive and proud, inside and out. Call it “enlightenment,” if you like - which happens to be the title of the Paralympic opening ceremony.
And maybe that is how we will get back to growth.
Every chief executive I’ve spoken to for Marketplace Europe has had a positive outlook, a can-do attitude and a desire to rise above challenges presented by the global economic slowdown. They are not wallowing in bad news.
These leaders view the economic crisis as a test of strength and endurance. They are thinking like elite sportsmen, like the paralympian super-humans who have trained so hard to compete in London’s games.
Next week, from the cheap seats in the Olympic Stadium, I’ll be cheering them on.
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