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Back to All Reports U.S. Economic Impact of Advanced Biofuels Production: Perspectives to 2030

What can realistically be said about the business and economic implications of a global influenza pandemic when the range of uncertainty about possible events is so great? In truth, we can say very little with certainty today without approaching the problem on the basis of alternative possible scenarios.

In this report we develop six scenarios to describe plausible outcomes that could emerge from the current avian influenza crisis in Asia. Each scenario emerges from a common set of “scenario elements,” using different assumptions about the answers to key questions that will likely determine actual events. Our economic analysis of possible events leads us to the conclusion that the “economic transmissibility” of a pandemic could be even more explosive than the biological transmissibility of the disease.

The world’s experience with the SARS outbreak underscored how rapidly the economic effects of disruptions of travel and trade could spread within Asia and around the world. Under the current circumstances, a delicate linkage between the economic well being of Asian countries and the US economy could make both susceptible to an “Asian flu.” Asian governments have financed nearly half of the soaring US current account deficit, which reached a record $666 billion in 2004, and is likely to be even higher in 2005.