HIV/AIDS May Reduce South African’s Gross National Product 5.7% by 2015, Report Says
A new report released by the South African Bureau for Economic Research said that the HIV/AIDS epidemic in South Africa may reduce the nation's gross domestic product up to 5.7% by 2015, Dow Jones International News reports. The BER report analyzed the impact of HIV/AIDS on the nation's population, labor force, economic productivity, government expenditures and businesses and said that South Africa's GDP will likely decrease 1.5% by 2010 and 5.7% by 2015 as a result of HIV/AIDS. By 2015, South Africa's total labor force will decrease by 21% "compared with a no-AIDS scenario," including a 16.8% decline in highly skilled workers, a 19.3% drop in skilled workers and a 22.2% decrease in semi-skilled and unskilled workers, according to the report. The report also said that production prices could rise by up to 2.3% and prime interest rates could increase up to 2.9% per year between 2002 and 2015. In addition, the report "projected shifts" in consumer spending toward heath care products. The report said that households will likely "witness substantial shifts in spending, changes in the distribution of income and the activation of savings in order to protect living standards in the face of increased health-related expenditure" (Dow Jones International News, 9/25).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.