Not only world aviation, but the global economy as a whole were adversely affected by the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud problem over the past month, a British economic research group reported Thursday.

Oxford Economics, in a study prepared for Paris-based Airbus, said that through May 24, the ash cloud problem had inflicted 5 billion dollars' worth of damage to world gross domestic product (GDP).

It was not only the aviation sector which was hurt through airport closures and flight cancellations in the wake of the April 14 volcanic eruption, the report said.

Companies linked to the air cargo industry were also hurt, the report said, citing such wide-ranging examples as Kenyan flower traders unable to despatch their products to Europe, and carmakers in

Europe and mobile phone firms in Korea hit by components shortages. Oxford Economics said that in the week of April 15-21, it was above all European aviation which suffered, with over 100,000 flights cancelled and airlines losing 2.2 billion dollars in revenues.