Doug Short writes: In studying the data for my latest Big Four Economic Indicators update, I wondered how much impact Hurricane Sandy might have had on the economy in October and what to expect in the months ahead. I thought it would be interesting to take a close look at the behavior of the Big Four in the months before and after Hurricane Katrina hit the coast in August 2005.
Here is a chart and table similar to the one I maintain for the current Big Four data. The chart illustrates the growth of the four indicators from January 2005 to June 2007. The table below shows the month-over-month percent change and the average of the four for the twelve months of 2005.
The two made landfall at the end of the month Katrina on August 29th and Sandy on October 29th. Both had effects on economic activity as they approached the US, and Katrina certainly had some impact on the August substantial impact on September for all four indicators, most conspicuously Industrial Production. But we can see that Industrial Production had essentially rebounded by November and was back on trend by the end of the year. Retail Sales took a storm-related dip, but it is such a volatile indicator that it’s impossible to speculate with any confidence what the green line in the chart above would have looked like had Katrina not appeared.
For the sake of comparison, here is my current chart for the same indicators.
Presumably we have already seen some of Sandy’s fingerprints on the three October indicators thus far released, and we should expect to see greater impact on the November data. But the gradual return to normal in the North East and stimulus from recovery efforts should limit the Sandy effect to a couple of months.
Philip R. Davis is a founder of Phil's Stock World (www.philstockworld.com), a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders. Mr. Davis is a serial entrepreneur, having founded software company Accu-Title, a real estate title insurance software solution, and is also the President of the Delphi Consulting Corp., an M&A consulting firm that helps large and small companies obtain funding and close deals. He was also the founder of Accu-Search, a property data corporation that was sold to DataTrace in 2004 and Personality Plus, a precursor to eHarmony.com. Phil was a former editor of a UMass/Amherst humor magazine and it shows in his writing -- which is filled with colorful commentary along with very specific ideas on stock option purchases (Phil rarely holds actual stocks). Visit: Phil's Stock World (www.philstockworld.com)
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