Post-Sandy reconstruction to boost economy
Jeff Kearns, Susanna Pak and Noah Buhayar
Updated 8:39 p.m., Monday, November 26, 2012
John Cataneo is working his 20 employees overtime and still can't keep up with demand from customers who need plumbing repaired after Superstorm Sandy. He says he's hired two workers and may need more.
"We're just not getting to some people that are asking for help," said Cataneo, co-owner of Gateway Plumbing & Heating in Manhattan. "But we're doing the best we can."
Cataneo's experience shows how the storm is giving the Northeast - and the rest of the country -an economic boost that may eventually surpass the loss of business it caused. Reconstruction and related purchases and hiring may range from $140 billion to $240 billion and increase economic growth by 0.5 of a percentage point next year, assuming $50 billion in losses, according to Economic Outlook Group, a forecasting firm.
"Construction costs to rebuild all that was lost will be more than simply replacement, because a lot of the work will also involve fortifying structures," said Bernard Baumohl, chief global economist at Economic Outlook. "We'll see construction ramped up, and that's going to bring in jobs and an increase in demand for material of all sorts, and that's going to further stimulate the economy."