“Is Christmas good for the economy? Without Christmas, would we still eat large roast dinners and buy gifts for ourselves and others, and just spread the spending over 12 months? Probably, but it seems plausible that Christmas does encourage more consumption overall. If that conjecture is right, Christmas is good for the economy in depression conditions because it raises consumer spending and employs idle resources. But in more normal conditions, Christmas is a troublesome waste of money that simply sucks resources away from productive investments, so that instead of broadband and high-speed rail, we spend money on fripperies that don’t much matter.”
Tim Harford in the Financial Times
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