Sandy causes billions in damage in US

CAROL MARTINDALE, carolmartindale@nationnews.com

Added 30 October 2012

wallstreetsandydamage

WASHINGTON (AP) — Superstorm Sandy will end up causing about $20 billion in property damages and $10 billion to $30 billion more in lost business, according to IHS Global Insight, a forecasting firm. In the long run, the devastation the storm inflicted on New York City and other parts of the Northeast will barely nick the U.S. economy. That's the view of economists who say a slightly slower economy in coming weeks will likely be matched by reconstruction and repairs that will contribute to growth over time. The short-term blow to the economy, though, could subtract about 0.6 percentage point from U.S. economic growth in the October-December quarter, IHS says. Retailers, airlines and home construction firms will likely lose some business. The storm cut power to more than eight million homes, shut down 70 percent of East Coast oil refineries and inflicted worse-than-expected damage in the New York metro area. That area produces about 10 percent of U.S. economic output. New York City was all but closed off by car, train and air. The superstorm overflowed the city's waterfront, flooded the financial district and subway tunnels and cut power to hundreds of thousands. Power is expected to be fully restored in Manhattan and Brooklyn within four days. The New York Stock Exchange will reopen for regular trading tomorrow after being shut down for two days. There's no evidence that the shutdown had any effect on the financial system or the economy. But Jim Paulsen, chief strategist at Wells Capital Management, said further delays might have rattled consumers and dampened their spending.

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