Found this on the net somewhere earlier today, forget where I got it, but it’s an interesting read. Then Senate Majority Leader Frist asked the Congressional Budget Office what would happen to the US Economy if the Avian Flu became a pandemic. The gotcha paragraph follows:
In December, CBO estimated that a severe influenza pandemic (similar to the one that began in 1918) might cause a decline in U.S. GDP of about 4-1/4 percent and that a milder pandemic (similar to those that occurred in 1957 and 1968) might reduce GDP by about 1 percent, in comparison to what it would have been in the absence of a pandemic. In each case, economic activity would probably snap back once the pandemic ended, as consumers increased spending and businesses increased production to meet pent-up demand.
You can read the whole CBO report here.