New York City lost an estimated $200 million in economic activity in the fizzled snowstorm and decision to shut down the transit system — a loss that wasn't crippling overall but had the biggest impact on small businesses and hourly workers.
Consumers who would have otherwise bought cars or made other major purchases will likely do so a day or two later, said Adam Kamins, an economist with Moody's Analytics, which came up with the preliminary loss estimate. He noted that many employees forced to stay home Tuesday were able to telecommute.
Evan Gold, senior vice president for Planalytics, a firm that advises companies on weather issues, estimated the economic losses for the total Northeast, including New York, Philadelphia and Boston, at $500 million.
"Now that does sound like a lot of money, but when you think about last year, where we had a polar vortex, several weeks of that, more population centers impacted as well as above-normal snowfall, last year's overall economic impact is pegged at anywhere from $15 billion to $50 billion," he said.
In New York, small businesses and hourly workers who rely on tips, such as taxi drivers and restaurant workers, were keenly affected by the loss of work time.
Moody's economist Kamins said that for the Northeast overall, the storm would have done about $16 billion in damage had it hit full force. Instead, the impact will likely reach just $1.25 billion.
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-- The Associated Press