International companies closed plants and sent workers home or out of the country; food staples went undelivered to stores; and banks remained closed during a week when many Egyptians, who are routinely paid monthly, would receive their paychecks.

A major ratings agency cut the country’s bond rating, while shortages led to rising prices. And poorer Egyptians told of cutting back to just two meals a day to cope.

The protests’ crippling effects could give Mr. Mubarak and his new cabinet perhaps only a few weeks to re-establish order before shortages, rising unemployment and a deep crisis set in, economists said.