SARS: Economic Impacts and Implications

Publication | May 2003

This brief assesses the economic impact of SARS in a number of East and Southeast Asian economies and explores short-term economic impact of SARS as well as channels through which the Impact of SARS is felt.

The recent outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) has threatened short-term growth prospects in Asia. As of 5 May 2003, SARS has infected more than 6,500 people worldwide, and caused mounting concern. A number of East and Southeast Asian economies, including the People's Republic of China; Hong Kong, China; Singapore; Taipei,China; and Viet Nam have been put under considerable strain. The epidemic has also affected other economies, although to a lesser extent.


  • Introduction
  • Short-term Economic Impact of SARS
  • Channels through which the Impact of SARS is Felt
  • The Impact of SARS - Macroeconomic Simulations
  • Why has the Impact of SARS been so Pronounced?
  • How should Governments Respond to SARS and Similar Situations?
  • Provision and Acquisition of Accurate Information
  • Containing the Disease
  • Government Budget
  • Beyond SARS - Developing Long-term Strategies and Capacities to Deal with Contagious Diseases
  • Conclusions
  • References