(CNBC) — The global economy could withstand widespread disruption from a natural disaster or attack by militants for only a week as governments and businesses are not sufficiently prepared to deal with unexpected events, a report by a respected think-tank said.
Events such as the 2010 volcanic ash cloud, which grounded flights in Europe, Japan's earthquake and tsunami and Thailand's floods last year, have showed that key sectors and businesses can be severely affected if disruption to production or transport goes on for more than a week.
"One week seems to be the maximum tolerance of the 'just-in-time' global economy," said the report by Chatham House, the London-based policy institute for international affairs.
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The current fragile state of the world's economy leaves it particularly vulnerable to unforeseen shocks. Up to 30 percent of developed countries' gross domestic product could be directly threatened by crises, especially in the manufacturing and tourism sectors, according to the think-tank.