Bird Flu - Archives
Dead and a Major Recession
Congressional Budget Office has produced a report on the possible impact
of a bird flu pandemic on the US economy. It does not make pleasant reading.
If a pandemic similar
in scope to the 1918-19 Spanish flu outbreak were to occur, 30% of Americans
would become ill and 2.5% of those would die, the CBO said. U.S. output
would be reduced by about 5%, which would be the worst recession since 1980
and about average for recessions since World War II.
"The most important
effects would be a sharp decline in demand as people avoided shopping malls,
restaurants and other public spaces, and a shrinking of labor supply as
workers became ill or stayed home out of fear or to take care of others who
were sick," CBO said.
CBO estimated those
who got ill and survived would miss an average of 3 weeks of work.
Under the severe
scenario, demand in many industries would drop by about 10%. Sales at arts,
entertainment, recreation and food services sectors would plunge by 80%.
Transportation services, such as air, rail and transit, would fall by 67%.
Demand for health care would rise by 15%, CBO said.
Do I Have
Any Advance on $800 Billion?
sometimes sounds like a house auction, with each participant trying
furiously to outbid the other. The latest estimate for the cost to the
global economy of a flu pandemic – this time from the
– is $800 billion.
Asian Development Bank weighs
estimate of the economic cost of a global (or Asian) flu pandemic. It says
that a “year-long
shock” from bird flu would cost Asian economies as much as $283 billion,
reducing the region's gross domestic product by 6.5 percentage points.
presents a major potential challenge to the development of the region,
perhaps the most serious since the financial crisis of 1997," said the
Manila-based ADB. "A pandemic will likely slow or halt economic growth in
Asia and lead to a significant reduction in trade, particularly of services.
In the long run, potential economic growth will be lower and poverty will
A bird flu
epidemic could cost the Asia-Pacific region $90 billion to $110 billion,
according to the
Asia Development Bank. And a severe outbreak, leading to global
recession, could cost $250 billion to $290 billion.
Canada Gets Worried
of a flu pandemic could rival the impact of the Great Depression, according
to Canada’s Health Minister.
Meanwhile, a Canadian
economist, Sherry Cooper, has
told CBC News that a major flu outbreak
governments everywhere to shut down their borders, or, in effect, ground
airplanes, because people would not want to travel, and that would be the
end of the major trade in goods and services, at least for some period of
time….And, given our global supply chains, there would develop shortages in
many, many goods, many products, across the world very quickly." It would be
hard to maintain food supplies "even across provincial lines, let alone
across international lines," she added
She also said that she
did not want to “generate fear unnecessarily.”
CBC News report said the Conference Board of Canada has warned that “a flu
pandemic on a large scale would throw the world into a sudden and possibly
dramatic global recession."