21 Mar '11, 3am

Quake, tsunami could cost Japan US$235b: World Bank

SINGAPORE: The deadly earthquake and tsunami that hit northern Japan on March 11 could cost its economy up to $235 billion, equivalent to 4.0 per cent of output, the World Bank said Monday. "If history is any guide, real GDP growth will be negatively affected through mid-2011," the World Bank said in its latest East Asia and Pacific Economic Update report. It added that growth should pick up in subsequent quarters "as reconstruction efforts, which could last five years, accelerate". The lower end of the World Bank's estimate of the twin disasters' impact was $122 billion, equivalent to 2.5 per cent of gross domestic product. Vikram Nehru, the World Bank's chief regional economist, said the disasters would also affect the rest of Asia, but said it was too early to give estimates of the cost to the region. "In the immediate future, the biggest impact will be in terms of trad...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific_bu...

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