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According to the World Economic Forum its economic impact is already more severe than SARS (estimated global economic impact of $50 billion) or MERS (estimated global economic impact of $8.5 billion). Evidence from other countries where there has been a significant outbreak suggests a slowdown in economic activity either as a result of governmental response to the epidemic (e.g. quarantine) or arising from changes in individual behaviours (e.g. fall in consumer confidence). For the Chancellor, ready to deliver his first budget, this is one more factor in addition to the uncertainties arising from Brexit.