Stat of the day: £13bn

The amount absence was already expected to cost the UK economy this year - before the cold snap.

by Elizabeth Anderson
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013
The heavy snow which hit the UK early this year cost around half a billion pounds a day, according to predictions from various quarters. And with Britain in the grip of another cold spell, the total bill could get higher before the year is out.

Absence from work costs the UK economy £13bn, according to the Federation of Small Businesses.  But as the UK battles against the cold weather, this figure is likely to rise. In Scotland, which has seen the worst November snowfalls in 17 years, business leaders are warning the freezing weather could cost the country more than £50 million a day and more than £5bn over the period.

It’s thought the retail sector could be the worst affected, as the snow stops people going out shopping (not that you'd have guessed as much in London this weekend). Today is expected to be the busiest internet shopping day of the year, with shoppers expected to spend £537m online today on what’s been dubbed ‘Manic Monday’. According to shopping comparison website Kelkoo, transactions are expected to peak between 1 and 2pm, and after 7pm. So hopefully under-manned firms at least won't have to worry too much about productivity plummeting during working hours.

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