retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

The New York Times is writing that in addition to the short term impact of Hurricane Sandy, which battered New Jersey, New York and parts of Connecticut, "many economists expect the storm to shave up to half a percentage point from growth in the fourth quarter. That is a big reduction, with growth estimated to reach an annual rate of 1 to 2 percent before the storm, and the economy facing other significant headwinds, including fiscal uncertainty in Washington."

While the economic losses are expected to be lower than those from Hurricane Katrina, the long-term impact could actually be greater, the story suggests, because the Northeast is more densely populated and "is responsible for about $3 trillion in output, or roughly 20 percent of the country’s total gross domestic product."

On Fox Business last week, the always reliable Burt Flickinger III, of the Strategic Resource Group, suggested that Hurricane Sandy could have an enormous impact on consumer spending - that $800 that people might have spent on Christmas presents or holiday trappings now will have been spent on dealing with the natural disaster.

Which means that as the lights and heat come on, and the detritus is cleared, there still will be lasting implications for retailers and manufacturers of almost every stripe.

It is an Eye-Opener.
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