Analysts at ING Bank have said, in relation to the Coronavirus scare, that so far, the Wuhan flu story is being treated as if it were an interesting aside - "I suspect this may become a top headline in the coming days and weeks," Robert Carnell, Chief Economist Head of Research, Asia-Pacific argued.

Key quotes

What scared people about SARS is the mortality rate.

The response of the population of countries where there was a perceived greater risk, was huge. Presumably, the reasoning was, if I do get it, the odds aren't great.

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 behaviour of the population.

Cases of Wuhan flu have now risen to more than 300, though researchers at Imperial College, London suspect that the numbers may already be north of 1700.  

I'm no doctor, but I do think I understand human nature well enough to realise the potential for another economic hit to growth from this source. That's certainly not in the IMF's global growth model. 

 

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