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Analyst sees quake toll costing 3% of Japan's GDP

Analyst sees quake toll costing 3% of Japan's GDP ( NI225 ) (by Shawn Langlois)

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- The damage caused by the devastating earthquake in Japan last week could end up costing more than 15 trillion yen ($186 billion), or about 3% of the country's gross domestic product, according to a report from Barclays Capital on Tuesday. "The economy in the affected region is highly open, which means developments within the region tend to have an impact outside the region and vice versa," analyst Kyohei Morita said. He added that the crisis is "expected to inflict more human and physical damage" than the 1995 Kobe earthquake. In a separate note, IHS Global Insight pointed to other catastrophes, like Katrina and the terrorist attacks of 9/11, to help assess the damage. "The economic impacts of these events are typically large for a quarter or two after the event, and are mostly concentrated in the region of the disaster," said IHS Chief Economist Nariman Behravesh. "After about two quarters, however, growth is boosted by the reconstruction effort." Specifically, he said he sees GDP growth stunted by up to half a percentage point this year before being boosted by that much next year, though he said the negative impact this year will be much worse if the nuclear crisis turns into a "full-blown catastrophe." The Nikkei Stock Average (jp:ni225) closed down 10.6%.

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Analyst sees quake toll costing 3% of Japan's GDP