Beijing, China - Peoples Republic of
SHELVES EMPTIED AT BEIJING MARKET AFTER SARS OUTBREAK.
4) MORTALITY RATE AND ECONOMIC IMPACT
An IMF paper by David Bloom, Daniel Cadarette, and JP Sevilla notes that even when the health impact of an outbreak is relatively limited, economic consequences can be quickly magnified. The authors cite the case of Liberia during the 2014 Ebola outbreak, which saw GDP growth decline even as the country's overall death rate fell over the same period.
"What scared people about SARS is the mortality rate," ING Asia Pacific's chief economist Robert Carnell said in a note to clients.
"People didn't take public transport, stayed away from work, stayed away from shops, restaurants, cinemas, conferences etc. The impact from the disease was massive on the economy, but almost all of it indirect, due to the precautionary behavior of the population." Pictured: A Chinese man afraid of a growing outbreak of SARS in Beijing wears a mask as he walks past shelves nearly emptied of instant noodles at a supermarket April 25, 2003. REUTERS/Wilson Chu