Does the World Cup affect economic growth? Consider that growth in France was sluggish between 1994 and 1997, averaging 1.6 percent per year. But growth accelerated to 3.1 percent per year from 1998 to 2001, spurred by a rise in business investment and domestic demand. But was it also spurred by France winning the FIFA World Cup in 1998? As the Financial Times claimed, “the win inspired an optimism that boosted France's fledgling economic recovery."