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Swine flu could lower U.K.’s GDP

Stephen Beard Jul 20, 2009
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Swine flu could lower U.K.’s GDP

Stephen Beard Jul 20, 2009
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Bill Radke: The British economy could suffer significantly from swine flu. That’s according to an influential report out this morning. And we get more on that from London and reporter Stephen Beard.


Stephen Beard: The report from Ernst & Young says that with the additional effect of swine flu, Britain’s GDP could fall by 7.5 percent this year. The forecast is based on the British Government’s own predictions.

The Health Ministry reckons there will be 100,000 new cases of swine flu a day by next month. In time, half the population could be infected.

So far, the virus has been relatively mild. Mortality rates are expected to be low. But Peter Spencer of the Ernst & Young team, speaking on British T.V., said the economic consequences could be dire:

Peter Spencer: Obviously people will be taking time off work. They will also be avoiding crowded places. So put those two effects together and you’ve got a whole range of industries which will see output and demand knocked back.

The World Health Organization says swine flu is spreading around the globe with “unprecedented speed.”

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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