So, it’s gonna snow this weekend. Which is unfortunate enough, to be sure, even when not taking into account that, for the last two years, snow has meant added economic unpleasantness. And things are unpleasant enough as is. Luckily, there’s good news:
- Winter Storm Jonas may ruin your weekend, but ruined weekends are not the stuff of ruined GDPs.
- Until two weeks ago, it might as well have been late September, which was probably good for the economy.
- Blizzard warning notwithstanding, the brunt of the storm will be borne by Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia. In other words: By economically insignificant places. New York’s looking at a manageable eight inches. Westchester and southwestern Connecticut could get off with a dusting.
Since many businesses and the federal government are, for the most part, already closed on the weekends, the storm shouldn’t result in a dramatic increase in lost wages or consumption tied to workers’ daily routines. What’s more, on the East Coast, this winter has been warmer than typical and relatively storm-free.
“Unusually high temperatures, particularly in December, likely boosted fourth-quarter GDP growth in the order of a few tenths of a percentage point,” Mr. Sweet said. A blast of winter this week might just be a return to normal conditions.
Will a Blizzard Freeze U.S. Economic Growth for a Third Straight Year? [WSJ Real Time Economics blog]