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What will be the cost?

swine flu  Mexico City has re-opened for business this week but there isnít much money changing hands, a symptom of the fear of swine flu.
  In many restaurants and shops in the capital on Monday, staff outnumbered customers. As for public venues like museums, parks and theatres, they remain shut.
Where possible, companies are asking employees to work from home on the advice of Mexico Cityís mayor, informs Euronews.
  Swine flu has struck at a time when the Mexican economy is already in poor health. Like most others it has been laid up with the effects of the global economic crisis and it has been hit by the drop in orders from its biggest customer, the United States.  Some analysts predict Mexican GDP will fall by 4.5 percent this year, with the epidemic alone being responsible for 0.6 percent of that contraction.
  Even before swine flu became a household phrase, retail figures were on a steep downward slope, down 8.5 percent for the month of February.
  Perhaps the biggest threat now to Mexicoís economy is to tourism. Last year the tourist industry was worth some 10 billion euros and was managing to hold its own this year despite the global downturn.
  That resilience is almost certain to be dented by holiday-makersí concerns, even more so should a major western government impose a travel ban.


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