The possible macroeconomic impact on the UK of an influenza pandemic
Little is known about the possible impact of an influenza pandemic on a nation's economy.� We applied the UK macroeconomic model 'COMPACT' to epidemiological data on previous UK influenza pandemics, and extrapolated a sensitivity analysis to cover more extreme disease scenarios.� Analysis suggests that the economic impact of a repeat of the 1957 or 1968 pandemics, allowing for school closures, would be short lived, constituting a loss of 3.35% and 0.58% of GDP in the first pandemic quarter and year respectively.� A more severe scenario (with more than 1% of the population dying) could yield impacts of 21% and 4.5% respectively.� The economic shockwave would be gravest when absenteeism (through school closures) increases beyond a few weeks, creating policy repercussions for influenza pandemic planning as the most severe economic impact is due to policies to contain the pandemic rather than the pandemic itself.� Accounting for changes in consumption patterns made in an attempt to avoid infection worsens the potential impact.� Our mild disease scenario then shows first quarter/first year reductions in GDP of 9.5%/2.5%, compared to our severe scenario reductions of 29.5%.� These results clearly indicate the significance of behavioural change over disease parameters.
|Date of creation:||01 May 2009|
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