Economics Weekly: Novel Coronavirus and the Economy

Friday, February 14, 2020

On December 31, 2019, the Chinese government notified the WHO of the outbreak of a contagion that was affecting the city of Wuhan, in the Hubei province of China. By January 7, it was identified as the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Since then, 1,369 people have died. Analysts have been doing their best to assess the potential impact the outbreak might have on global economic growth. However, there is only so much we can know without a clear picture of the extent of the outbreak, particularly when the number of cases is being drastically underreported—the Chinese revealed an allegedly more accurate count this week, but this still only uses the new methodology for the Hubei province and not the rest of China! Nevertheless, it may be possible to make very general ballpark estimates largely based on the impact of the last such global contagion, SARS.

In this week's Economics Weekly, we examine the current novel coronavirus outbreak and its possible implications for economic growth.

For a copy of this report or to subscribe to the Economics Weekly or Economic Indicators reports, please contact your William Blair representative.

Richard de Chazal, CFA is a London-based macroeconomist covering the U.S. economy and financial markets.

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