Tags: snow | blizzard | storms | economy

Snow Storms Blasting Northeast Won't Freeze Economic Growth

Tuesday, 17 Feb 2015 02:29 PM

Weather will weigh on U.S. growth this quarter — just not nearly as much as last year. 

Snowfall is on track to subtract 0.4 percentage point from growth in the three months through March, based on estimates from Macroeconomic Advisers LLC.  That's way smaller than the estimated 1.4 point weather-created hit to GDP growth for the same period last year. 

Precipitation in January 

The reason for this smaller impact? It snowed way more in December and January a year ago in heavily populated areas, economists with Macroeconomic Advisers wrote.

Plus, snowstorms in February 2014 were more broadly distributed across population centers than those so far this year.

New England had its snowiest end to January in more than 50 years, based on data from Planalytics Inc., a Berwyn, Pennsylvania-based weather-data provider, and the mid-Atlantic recorded its heaviest snow in the final week of January since 2011.

Even so, snowfall for the nation was below normal. 

Macroeconomic Advisers uses snowfall data through Feb. 10, and weights it by how many people live in the affected areas.

The economists note that unusually light or heavy snowfall in the rest of the quarter could outweigh — or increase — any weather-borne economic impact. 

The immediate outlook shows that things could get snowier. Coastal New England including Boston will face blizzard conditions on Saturday, engulfing it in as much as a foot of new snow and bringing winds up to 70 miles per hour, the National Weather Service said.

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Weather will weigh on U.S. growth this quarter - just not nearly as much as last year. Snowfall is on track to subtract 0.4 percentage point from growth in the three months through March, based on estimates from Macroeconomic Advisers LLC.
snow, blizzard, storms, economy
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2015-29-17
Tuesday, 17 Feb 2015 02:29 PM
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