Saturday, October 22, 2005

Bird Flu Effect

Economists say a bird flu outbreak would create an instant and potentially prolonged recession. Bank of New Zealand chief economist Tony Alexander says the economic impact will depend on the virulence of the virus - if it emerges. He says it will also come down to how long it takes to get people around the world vaccinated. Tony Alexander says our biggest export earner, the tourism sector, would take a big hit and adds the general decline in consumer and business confidence would cause a significant downturn. He suggests businesses should prepare as best they can by making sure staff are aware of the risks and are practicing good hygiene. He says the hit would be so great it would shut everything down for a while.

If this bird flu materialise, and kills millions of us, world economy would be in tatters. Prices would fall, triggering deep recession. Suddenly we would be short of manpower to run everything and anything. Farms would turn back to forest in 10-20 years time, and we would lose all the gains in development for the past decade or more.

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