Objective To document the impact of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak in Beijing on indicators of social and economic activity. Methods Associations between time series of daily and monthly SARS cases and deaths and volume of public train, airplane and cargo transport, tourism, household consumption patterns and gross domestic product growth in Beijing were investigated using the cross-correlation function. Results Significant correlation coefficients were found for all indicators except wholesale accounts and expenditures on necessities, with the most significant correlations occurring with a delay of 1 day to 1 month. Conclusions Especially leisure activities, local and international transport and tourism were affected by SARS particularly in May 2003. Much of this consumption was merely postponed; but irrecoverable losses to the tourist sector alone were estimated at about US$ 1.4 bn, or 300 times the cost of treatment for SARS cases in Beijing.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Economic impact, Leisure industry, Losses, People's Republic of China, Postponed consumption, Severe acute respiratory syndrome
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-3156.2008.02210.x, hdl.handle.net/1765/24786
Citation
Beutels, P, Jia, N, Zhou, Q.Y, Smith, R, Cao, W.C, & de Vlas, S.J. (2009). The economic impact of SARS in Beijing, China. Tropical Medicine & International Health, 14(SUPPL. 1), 85–91. doi:10.1111/j.1365-3156.2008.02210.x