A Bird flu pandemic spells doom for global economic growth. According to bank economist Sherry Cooper, it is estimated that a pandemic could cause a dent of two to six percentage out of global economic growth. The effect could be felt in birth rate reductions and older populations, which will lead to continued labor shortages.
Cooper, the chief economist at BMO Nesbitt Burns, has been getting Bay Street and investors to gear up for a possible pandemic. A report on the potential economic impact was released by Cooper, along with a study released by the IMF that said, "If the pandemic is severe, the economic impact is likely to be significant, though predictions are subject to a high degree of uncertainty".
According to the IMF study report, "A pandemic similar to the 1918 Spanish flu could result in high level(s) of illness and death, and a sharp but only temporary decline in global economic activity. A severe pandemic could pose risks to the global financial system. Market operations could become more disorderly in the case of a breakdown in the trading infrastructure, leading to limited or intermittent trading."