Omicron Absenteeism Could Cause $48 Billion Hit to UK Economy

Omicron Absenteeism Could Cause $48 Billion Hit to UK Economy

Bloomberg

Staff shortages caused by Covid-19 illness and mandatory isolation could result in a 35-billion pound ($48 billion) loss in output over January and February, according to The Sunday Times.

The projected loss is equivalent to 8.8% of gross domestic product and based on government planning assumptions of a 25% absenteeism rate, the study conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research showed.

Even a more conservative estimate of 8% absenteeism — which is three times the seasonal average — could result in loss in output of 10.2 billion pounds, or 2.6% of GDP.

The CEBR said much of the lost output could be made up during the rest of the year.

Soaring infections caused by the highly transmissible omicron variant is placing pressure on the country’s healthcare system and businesses, with rising numbers of employees off sick or isolating.