Despite some dire predictions at the weekend, financial markets have been remarkably sanguine in the face of this latest tragedy; at the time of writing, both the London and Frankfurt markets are up on the day. In this, investors may be learning from past experience. The events of 9/11 - an atrocity on a vastly greater scale than anything that preceded it - may have reduced GDP growth in the US that year by half a percentage point; the stock market (which was closed for a few days) recovered all its losses within a month. In July 2005, when suicide bombers attacked the London transport network, the UK market recovered within days; British GDP rose 0.8 percent that quarter.
The attacks may cause a short-term disruption to economic life; people may decide not to visit town centres for a few days. But this generally means they postpone their consumption rather than abandon it; economic activity is simply shifted from one period to the next.
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