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U.S. Data Skewed By Storm’s Effect

Wall Street Journal (11/11/12) Neil Shah

Hurricane Sandy is having an impact on U.S. economic data as Americans lose work hours, income, and—in some cases—jobs. The storm possibly trimmed about 0.2 percentage point off the U.S. growth rate in the fourth quarter, according to economists. Fourth-quarter growth in gross domestic product will likely be an annualized 1.8%, which includes Sandy’s impact. Sandy has affected weekly jobless claims, with last Thursday’s report declining more than expected to 355,000, in part because power loss in one state prevented it from processing claims. Economists say this Thursday’s report could see claims spike to about 390,000, before retreating later.