April 26 (Bloomberg) -- Mexico requested the closure of bars, movie theaters and churches in the capital to fight an outbreak of deadly swine flu, while stopping short of ordering workplaces shut on concern about the economic impact.
The effort to fight the virus has a “high potential for disruption,” Finance Minister Agustin Carstens said today while speaking to reporters at the International Monetary Fund’s spring meetings. It’s too early to gauge the economic impact, he said.
The epidemic, which has claimed as many as 81 lives, threatens to deepen the country’s economic decline after U.S. demand for Mexican exports including cars and home appliances plummeted. The Mexican economy shrank 1.6 percent in the fourth quarter and probably contracted another 4.2 percent in the first three months of this year, according to a central bank survey of 32 economists published April 1.
“People don’t even want to leave their houses,” he said.