News You Really Need To See: “Ebola Begins to Take an Economic Toll in African Region at Center of Crisis”

“Ebola Begins to Take an Economic Toll in African Region at Center of Crisis”

The Washington Post, August 10, 2014, p.A4

Caterpillar has evacuated a handful of employees from Liberia.  Canadian Overseas Petroleum Ltd. has suspended a drilling project.  British Airways has canceled flights to the region.  Exxon Mobil and Chevron are waiting to see whether health officials can contain the danger.  The Ebola outbreak, which has claimed nearly 1,000 lives, is disrupting business and inflicting economic damage in the three African countries at the center of the crisis: Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. … The World Bank estimates that the outbreak will shrink economic growth in Guinea, where the crisis emerged in March, from 4.5 percent to 3.5 percent this year.  Ama Egyaba Baidu-Forson, an economist at IHS Global Insight who focuses on sub-Saharan Africa, is cutting her forecasts for growth this year in Liberia and Sierra Leone.  She warned that prices would rise as food and other staples become scarce and that the region’s already fragile governments would run up big budget deficits in fighting Ebola.  Baidu-Forson says the countries hit by Ebola ultimately could require financial help from the International Monetary Fund.”

Quickie Analysis:  An interesting look at the Ebola outbreak’s economic ramifications.

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