Sandy's Economic Impact: Positive or Negative?


Superstorm Sandy has wrecked havoc on the east coast, leaving scores dead and causing significant damage to the buildings and infrastructure.

Though the actual scale of the damage caused by the storm will be known much later—after many months or even years--the estimates are in the range of $20 to $50 billion. (Three ETFs to Watch in Hurricane Sandy’s Aftermath)

While insurance companies will be hit hard by large P&C claims (and may in turn be able to raise premiums), there are other sectors like airlines and many others that will be impacted by the business interruptions caused by the storm.

Further some consumer may curtail their holiday spending due to losses resulting from Sandy.

On the other hand, some companies will benefit in the longer-term from the massive rebuilding of houses and roads required in the aftermath of the storm.

Even in the shorter-term many people will have to buy new cars and many new construction jobs will be created for immediate repairs required to the buildings and infrastructure.

So, while there is immense destruction in the short-term, the storm may boost economic activity in the longer-term. Increased spending will come both from the government and private sector.

Do you think that Sandy will have an overall positive economic impact and boost GDP in the months ahead?

  1. Greater economic activity will boost U.S. GDP in 2013 and beyond
  2. There would not be much impact on the macro numbers
  3. Sandy will have an overall negative impact on the fragile economy

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