(NEW YORK) — The financial toll from Hurricane Sandy to homeowners and businesses will be massive. But estimates of the total price tag are all over the place. And after every big weather event, winners as well as losers emerge.
IHS Global Insight says Sandy will end up causing about $20 billion in property damages and up to $30 billion in lost business. But that’s just one of many widely varying estimates.
Forecasting firm HIS says the short-term impact could subtract about 0.6 percent from U.S. economic growth in the October-December quarter. But longer-term, the storm is unlikely to take a big toll on the economy. In fact, the upfront losses in output may be offset over time by more economic activity.
Airlines, insurance companies and many retailers will take a hit. And business interruption insurance will cover only part of the losses. But Home Depot, Lowes and other home improvement firms may see a boost in their sales. Construction jobs will be created by the big rebuilding effort.
Infrastructure spending on damaged roads, bridges and tunnels will boost economic activity. And many homeowners will be forced to rebuild their homes to higher standards because of local state and federal regulations. That will add to total spending.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio