We know the question everyone has been asking about the impending arrival of a new member of the British royal family.
No, of course it's not, will it be a girl or a boy. We are, after all, public radio consumers. What we really want to know is: What will the economic impact of the royal birth be on the U.K. economy?
Here are some excerpts from the slightly tongue-in-cheek analysis attempting to answer that question, from a press release from IHS Global Insight's Chief European and U.K. economist Howard Archer:
While the birth of the royal baby is a massive event in terms of news interest (including appreciable international interest), the impact on the UK economy is likely to be limited - albeit overwhelmingly positive. At the margin, the royal birth may provide the economy with a temporary, small positive boost at a time when it seems to be increasingly moving in the right direction.
The most obvious support to the economy coming from the royal birth will be some boost to retail sales through people buying souvenirs and commemorative items, while there is also likely to be a small lift to alcohol sales as some people will want to toast the Royal Baby.
However, any boost to consumer confidence from the royal birth/UK sporting success/better weather is likely to be fleeting, as at the end of the day, what influences people the most is their perception of the state of the economy and the employment outlook.