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The Atlanta Fed's macroblog provides commentary on economic topics including monetary policy, macroeconomic developments, financial issues and Southeast regional trends.

Authors for macroblog are Dave Altig and other Atlanta Fed economists.


September 09, 2008


Hurricanes put energy on center stage

Hurricane season is in full swing here in the Southeastern United  States. The Atlanta Fed pays particular attention to hurricanes for two reasons: (1) they have significant impacts on the local economies they strike, and (2) they can potentially have big impacts on the national economy.

For example, in 2005, even though the Katrina and Rita storm-damaged area of Louisiana represented only a small fraction of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP), it cast an outsized shadow because of its very large role in oil and gas production and processing. Katrina and Rita’s disruptions of this production and processing spilled over into the national economy, destroying 113 offshore oil and gas platforms and damaging 457 oil and gas pipelines. This damage generated uncertainty about the availability and price of energy products, causing prices to immediately jump.

After relatively quiet hurricane seasons in 2006 and 2007, 2008’s hurricane season thus far has been quite active, with potentially significant national implications. That’s because the Gulf of Mexico remains a substantial source of oil and natural gas production—just as it was three years ago. In addition, coastal Louisiana is the home to upwards of 50 chemical plants, which produce 25 percent of the nation's chemicals that are used in a wide variety of products such as medicines, fertilizers, and plastics. Compounding the Gulf Coast’s concentration of oil, gas and chemicals is the fact the U.S. economy is in a weaker state today and, as a result, more vulnerable to economic shocks than in 2005, a point made in a recent CNNMoney article about Hurricane Gustav.

One of the questions we are often asked is, “what is the effect of a hurricane on the economy?” Not surprisingly, the answer depends on what “the economy” refers to. From a national accounting perspective, GDP is a measure of the nation’s current production of goods and services; thus GDP is not directly affected by the loss of property (structures and equipment) produced in previous periods.

However, there are usually second-round GDP effects that arise because of disruptions to production, income and consumption flows. The Bureau of Economic Analysis provides a good description. For example, in the short run after a hurricane, incomes in many industries are likely to decline because of cuts in production, while some industries involved in the cleanup and repair may see activity increase. Similarly, incomes and spending could increase in areas that are the recipients of evacuees. The net effect of these flow disruptions on GDP over time is often not large because lost output from destruction and displacement is offset by a big increase in reconstruction and public spending later.

But even if the effects are neutral on a national scale a storm’s impact can be long-lasting in an affected locale. For instance, the flooding associated with Katrina left the economy of New Orleans devastated, and in many dimensions it has not fully recovered three years after the storm. Air traffic through New Orleans International Airport increased 13 percent in June 2008 compared to a year earlier but still remained well below pre-Katrina levels. Hurricane Gustav resulted in another evacuation of the city and the cancellation of numerous tourist and other events. Clearly storms like this have the potential to wreak havoc on the prosperity of the Crescent City.

The Atlanta Fed regularly reports on regional economic conditions on its public Web site. As part of its efforts to monitor storm effects—both local and national—the Atlanta Fed is also providing information on post-storm conditions in the affected areas. So far, these reports have focused on Hurricane Gustav’s impact on key energy and transportation infrastructure. The Bank will provide similar updates on other storms, including Hurricane Ike, which had entered the Gulf of Mexico at the time of this posting.

By John Robertson and Mike Chriszt in the Atlanta Fed’s research department

Note: Macroblog will not feature postings on monetary policy issues during the Federal Open Market Committee meeting blackout period, which runs from the week before the FOMC meeting until the Friday after it. Also, David Altig, senior vice president and research director of the Atlanta Fed, will not post during this time frame.


September 9, 2008 in Energy, Katrina | Permalink

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Interesting that you should bring up hurricanes.

Those who claim that the Fed must only conduct monetary policy using linear/quadratic models (apparently Buiter among them?) would confine the Fed to models that assert that shocks hitting the economy are distributed in a Gaussian manner.

Mainstream Fed thought seems to understand that this is demonstrably false. I view it as asinine.

I wonder if those people who shout so loud that the Fed needs to use models that assume a normal distribution of shocks throughout the economy as a guide for open market operations similarly claim that shocks from a HURRICANE are normally distributed along its path......

Indeed, the similarities between economic shocks and hurricanes may not be a trivial one mathematically. Picking up momentum over water, etc.

And the damage that a hurricane causes is obviously skewed in various ways, depending on so many factors.

An interesting mathematical metaphor.

Matt Dubuque

Posted by: Matt Dubuque | September 09, 2008 at 09:12 PM

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October 07, 2005


Noise?

That seems to be what everyone expected from today's release of the September employment report. Calculated Risk points out that collecting this month's data required a few creative adjustments to the usual process, but there was no shortage of commentary ready to declare the report as pretty good news. From MarketWatch:

Hurricane Katrina blew away a quarter of a million jobs, but outside of the battered Gulf Coast, job growth remained healthy in September, government data released Friday show...

U.S. nonfarm payrolls fell by an estimated 35,000 in September, the first decline in more than two years, the Labor Department said Friday.

The unemployment rate rose as expected to 5.1% in September from 4.9%, as 270,000 Americans joined the ranks of the jobless.

The decline in payrolls was much less than the 150,000 drop expected by Wall Street economists surveyed by MarketWatch...

The Commentary in the blogoshpere has thus far been more skeptical.  Barry Ritholtz says we should just consider this report a mulligan, Calculated Risk asserts that it will probably be months before we get the true picture, and pgl at Angry Bear just hopes there is nothing ugly hidden among the data uncertainty.  All of that seems hard to argue with.  Nonetheless, one of the things that got my attention was this (again from the MarketWatch article):

In addition to the better-than-expected September results, payrolls in July and August were revised higher by a total of 77,000 jobs. Job growth has averaged 194,000 per month over the past year.

To me, that is starting to look like pretty healthy net job creation.  And I don't quite agree with this statement from Calculated Risk:

The jobs report can be summarized: Construction hot, manufacturing not, Katrina impact unclear. As is usual, construction added jobs while the downward trend in manufacturing continued. In fact, manufacturing jobs (14.234 million) are at the lowest level since 1950.

Not that the statement is wrong.  It's just incomplete.  While it is true that manufacturing job growth is virtually nonexistent, that is nothing new.  And while job gains were had in construction -- as has been the case for awhile -- outside of retail sales advances in employment were broad-based.  Here is the detailed story in pictures:

Manufacturing lost 27,000 jobs...

Manufacturing
... and retail a whopping-looking 88,000 jobs:

Retail_trade
That looks to me like the real news of this report, as growth in most other industry categories held pretty close to recent form.  Construction gained 23,000 jobs...

Construction

... but in addition we added 11.000 in the financial activities sector...

Financial_activities
...  52,000 in the business and professional services area...

Professional_and_business_services
... 49,000 in education and health services...

Education_and_health_services
... while the government kicked in another 31,000:

Government

Overall, that is not a bad set of pictures.

UPDATE: More, from the Skeptical Speculator.

October 7, 2005 in Katrina, Labor Markets | Permalink

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» Macro effects of oil shocks-- what should we be looking for next? from Econbrowser
I recently prepared an entry on the macroeconomic effects of oil shocks for the new edition of the Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. Here I sketch some of the material from that essa... [Read More]

Tracked on Oct 9, 2005 10:52:52 PM

Comments

Wow. Teachers went back to work in September, huh?

Who would've thought it.

Posted by: donna | October 08, 2005 at 01:41 AM

Fair enough. I was being glib, but I did write this was a "relatively strong report" - and it was. I also added a link to your post.

Best Regards!

Posted by: CalculatedRisk | October 08, 2005 at 03:04 AM

donna -- I posted the seasonally adjusted statistics, so the return-to-school effect should be controlled for.

CR - Thanks. It was only a small quibble.

Posted by: Dave Altig | October 08, 2005 at 08:14 AM

David,

I agree that the picture "as painted" looks decent, but much like the CPI, I have some pecadillo's with Non Farms.

Bare in mind that BLS uses a method to calculate "phantom" jobs that they "think should be created". This is akin to hedonic adjustments.

Then they go back periodically and revise the figures to reflect reality.

I have examined the BLS statistics from Jan 01 through Jun 05 and there are some startling findings.

If you throw out the first six months of hypothetical job creation this year which will be revised at a future date:

Total non farm payrolls Jan 2001 130.433 million - Jan 2005 130.495 million.

This yields exactly 62,000 new jobs, for a whopping 1,291 jobs created monthly over the 4 year period.

Unemployed persons Jan 2001 - 6.017 million, Jan 2005 - 7.737 million, for an INCREASE of 1.720 million unemployed persons over the 4 year period.

1.720 million newly unemployed vs 62,000 new jobs over 4 years. Thats what I call getting JOBBED.

That is a really pretty picture, as in pretty grim.

http://naybob.blogspot.com/2005/09/bls-non-farms-job-creation-2001-to.html

Posted by: The Nattering Naybob | October 10, 2005 at 12:45 PM

How MNC’s work in China:

“To this end, multinationals often first establish a holding company to reorganize existing assets or expand investment. Then the holding companies streamline subsidiaries to reduce material procurement and distribution costs.

“To further reduce costs, the multinationals also require their component suppliers to move to China to form a complete supply chain, which makes products more price-competitive.

“The auto industry is a telling example. By last May, the more than 50 core component providers for Japanese car maker Honda had opened or planned to open branches in Guangzhou, where Honda has its key manufacturing base in China. “

This is not a trickle of jobs; these are entire chains of production.

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2005-10/11/content_483915.htm

The good news is: Great jobs in finance, health, government, and...oh yes, building houses.

Yup. We are doing fine on on choice of work.

Cheers.


Posted by: Stormy | October 11, 2005 at 10:57 PM

How MNC’s work in China:

“To this end, multinationals often first establish a holding company to reorganize existing assets or expand investment. Then the holding companies streamline subsidiaries to reduce material procurement and distribution costs.

“To further reduce costs, the multinationals also require their component suppliers to move to China to form a complete supply chain, which makes products more price-competitive.

“The auto industry is a telling example. By last May, the more than 50 core component providers for Japanese car maker Honda had opened or planned to open branches in Guangzhou, where Honda has its key manufacturing base in China. “

This is not a trickle of jobs; these are entire chains of production.

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2005-10/11/content_483915.htm

The good news is: Great jobs in finance, health, government, and...oh yes, building houses.

Yup. We are doing fine on our choice of work.

Cheers.


Posted by: Stormy | October 11, 2005 at 10:57 PM

Well,
After creating a havoc in the US katrina is now showing its effect on India. The effect here is of a different kind and is happening because of change in US Govt's economic policies. Read more: http://www.easternbrain.com/2005/10/18/us%e2%80%99s-katrina-may-affect-india/

Vishnu

Posted by: Vishnu | October 19, 2005 at 04:36 PM

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October 03, 2005


September Bounce?

Just when we thought we had it figured out, the predictions of a hurricane-related slowdown take a hit from the latest data from the manufacturing sector.  From the Institute for Supply Management:

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector grew in September for the 28th consecutive month, while the overall economy grew for the 47th consecutive month, say the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®.

The report was issued today by Norbert J. Ore, C.P.M., chair of the Institute for Supply Management™ Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. "The manufacturing sector grew for the 28th consecutive month in September based on the ISM data. The PMI made a strong move to the upside as New Orders and Production rose significantly. This move was supported by slower deliveries and growing order backlogs. While energy prices and the impact from Hurricane Katrina are major concerns, the manufacturing sector has regained significant momentum."

The advances were broad-based...

Of the industries reporting in September, 15 registered growth: Tobacco; Paper; Electronic Components & Equipment; Apparel; Instruments & Photographic Equipment; Wood & Wood Products; Chemicals; Primary Metals; Food; Textiles; Transportation & Equipment; Industrial & Commercial Equipment & Computers; Furniture; Printing & Publishing; and Fabricated Metals.

... and the employment index continued to advance:

ISM's Employment Index registered growth in September for the third consecutive month. The index registered 53.1 percent in September compared to 52.6 percent in August, an increase of 0.5 percentage point. An Employment Index above 48.5 percent, over time, is generally consistent with an increase in the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data on manufacturing employment.

The price picture wasn't so cheery...

The ISM's Prices Index jumped again in September as the Prices Index rose to 78 percent, up from 62.5 percent in August. September's jump of 15.5 percentage points follows a jump of 14 percentage points from July to August.

... but it is worth pointing out that these reflect the prices producers pay, which may or may not manifest themselves at the consumer level.

In other news today: Another record high for construction spending in August.  That's largely pre-Katrina information, but it may not matter.  From Reuters, via ABC News:

The Commerce Department said Hurricane Katrina, which battered the U.S. Gulf Coast at the end of August, had no impact on the month's numbers and should have a minimal effect on construction spending for 2005 as a whole. This is because the hardest-hit states - Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama - accounted for slightly more than 3 percent of total construction spending last year, the government said...

Despite a growing chorus of concern, the U.S. housing sector has shown little sign of cooling off from a multiyear rally that has seen home prices rise by double-digit percentages in some areas. Some economists expect 2005 to be another record year for sales and building, although they maintain the sector should begin to ease in 2006 as long-term interest rates rise and dampen demand.

I'm not sure, but I'd bet we said the same thing about this time last year.  In any event, the betting now begins on whether this sentiment, from Bloomberg, will still look like truth when all of the month's data comes rolling in:

The Institute for Supply Management report suggests that economic recovery from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita may be more rapid than analysts expected.

UPDATE: Mish provides a less optimistic interpretation of the ISM report.

October 3, 2005 in Data Releases, Housing, Katrina | Permalink

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» What's good for GM... from Econbrowser
U.S. automakers can't be very pleased about September sales figures. [Read More]

Tracked on Oct 3, 2005 11:24:39 PM

» What's good for GM... from Econbrowser
U.S. automakers can't be very pleased about September sales figures. [Read More]

Tracked on Nov 12, 2005 9:07:52 PM

» What's good for GM... from Econbrowser
U.S. automakers can't be very pleased about September sales figures. [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 11, 2006 2:59:55 PM

Comments

i still think that when the average joe starts to pay his heating bills in dec,jan and feb it will be an economic cold shower and consumption should take a tumble. additionally, the nytimes has an article this morning about some tangible signs of the first cracks in the new york housing market. turn off that spigot and 3.5% ish gdp will turn into 1.5%ish gdp rather rapidly. great site!! jjj

Posted by: jjj | October 04, 2005 at 07:49 AM

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September 13, 2005


A Little Of This, A Little Of That From The Forecasting Pros

Yesterday's mail brought the latest edition of the Blue Chip Economic Indicators newsletter, which rounds up the current thinking of the nation's "top analysts."   The survey results were collected on September 1 and 2, so the news associated with Katrina was still pretty raw.  According to the editors:

The effects of Hurricane Katrina – perhaps the costliest natural disaster in American history – were just beginning to be assessed when we conducted this month’s survey on September 1st and 2nd. Without reliable information and the situation rapidly evolving, the forecasts submitted to us this month appear to represent an attempt by many of our participants to provide an early post-Katrina assessment of the outlook while others are updated, but pre-Katrina takes on the economy. A handful of our regular participants choose not to provide forecasts this month, saying it was premature to attempt an assessment of Katrina’s effects.

The results are sort of interesting, nonetheless.  The consensus estimates for real GDP growth barely budged: Forecasted growth for all of 2005 was marked down to 3.5 percent, from an estimate of 3.6 in August.  The 2006 forecast fell from 3.3 percent to 3.2 percent.  The expected rate of change in the Consumer Price Index for 2005 crept up from 3 percent to 3.1 percent. For 2006 the consensus rate of inflation rose to 2.7 percent; the early August guess was 2.5 percent.

Not much drama there.  What caught my eye was this question and response:

If the [2-year/10-year] yield curve does invert, with [sic] that signal to you a sharp slowing of economic growth within the next 12 months?
(Percentage of those responding)
Yes 40.9%                       No 59.1%

Econbrowser will beg to differ, I bet.  On the other hand, the great majority don't expect this to happen, even though expectations for the federal funds rate still look fairly aggressive relative to current long-term interest rates:

What will be the FOMC’s Federal funds rate target at the end of 2005 and 2006?
FOMC’s Federal funds rate target at end of:
                    2005          2006
Consensus   3.97%         4.24%

You might infer from this that the survey respondents are expecting  to finally see some persistent northward movement in longer-term interest rates, and you would be correct.  The consensus forecast for average 10-year Treasury yields in 2006 is 4.9 percent.  And yes, that increase is expected to bite the housing market...

Will residential investment ADD TO or SUBTRACT FROM real GDP growth in 2006?
(Percentage of those responding)
Add To           Subtract From
27.3%                72.7%

... but in light of the overall forecast, the belief must be that it will be little more than a nibble.

September 13, 2005 in Federal Reserve and Monetary Policy, Housing, Inflation, Interest Rates, Katrina, This, That, and the Other | Permalink

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Comments

Dave,

Considering the housing bubble industries are probably responsible for 40% of the GDP growth in recent years, you could infer that a pullback in housing will result in a considerable reduction in GDP growth.

My guess 3 years+ is a slow and painful 1.5 to 2% shaved off of GDP.

Whether the resulting realignment of labor is orderly remains to be seen.

An interesting codicil:

Hypothetically speaking, by understating CPI inflation the current bond market is being fooled.

The real GDP growth rates are being artificially boosted since real GDP is nominal GDP less the understated rate of inflation.

If one were to adjust GDP for real inflation as opposed to the current CPI read and then factor in a future slowdown in housing, we may be headed for zero or negative GDP. Just a passing thought.

Posted by: The Nattering Naybob | September 18, 2005 at 06:04 AM

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September 07, 2005


The U.S. Economy: The Fundamentals Still Sound?

The latest edition of the Federal Reserve Banks' report on regional economic conditions (the Beige Book) suggests it is so:

Economic activity increased across the nation from mid-July through August, except in the Boston District, where activity was mixed. The growth was widespread as retail sales, services, finance, construction, manufacturing, mining, energy, and tourism all expanded. A few Districts reported softening in residential real estate markets, albeit from still brisk levels of activity, while commercial real estate markets strengthened in most Districts. Lending activity increased, and credit quality was stable. Conditions in the agricultural sector improved slightly, with late summer rains somewhat alleviating the effects of drought. Meanwhile, labor markets showed signs of tightening with modest wage increases. Except for energy, overall consumer price increases were modest.

This is all pre-Katrina, of course, but the first "official" take from the Congressional Budget Office suggests the disaster's effects will be, in Andrew Samwick's words, "significant, but not overwhelming":   

Katrina could dampen real gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the second half of the year by ½ to 1 percentage point and reduce employment through the end of this year by about 400,000. Most economic forecasters had expected 3 percent to 4 percent growth during the second half, and employment growth of 150,000 to 200,000 per month. Economic growth and employment are likely to rebound during the first half of 2006 as rebuilding accelerates.

The effects on the populations and localities that took the direct hit are, of course, enormous, but according to the CBO the spillover effects to the macroeconomy are likely to be limited:

The supply of petroleum products, as indicated above, does not appear to be a major macroeconomic problem, but higher gasoline prices will temporarily reduce both  gasoline consumption and consumption of other goods and services.

As to Brad Setser's fears, the CBO projects:

The damage to the Port of Southern Louisiana is significant, but most shipping will be able to resume in a few weeks or be diverted from the New Orleans facilities to other facilities on the Mississippi (such as Baton Rouge) or to Houston. Vessels drafting more than 39 feet cannot currently use the river. Only one grain elevator appeared to be severely damaged, and the others are coming back into operation as power is restored.

As Andrew points out, these are still only educated guesses at best.  But, as the Beige Book report suggests, the reference point seemed to be an economy on relatively sound footing.  Add to that the fact that the global economy seems to be strengthening more generally, as noted by The Skeptical Speculator, and there is at least some reason for optimism.

I have been feeling a bit gloomy about things in the past week. Maybe some perspective is in order.

September 7, 2005 in Data Releases, Federal Reserve and Monetary Policy, Katrina | Permalink

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"I have been feeling a bit gloomy about things in the past week."

Well cheer up, there's no need for that.

"But, as the Beige Book report suggests, the reference point seemed to be an economy on relatively sound footing."

Well this is certainly the impression one gets, a bit lop-sided with the housing boom and the CA deficit, but essentially on an upswing.

As I keep saying Katrina will test the theories. If you emerge relatively unscathed, some people may need to rethink. They may need to, but whether they will is another question.

"the global economy seems to be strengthening more generally"

This is true, but Europe isn't the area I would go for. The data from the UK is mixed, remember manufacturing is a relatively small part of the UK economy now. Services, like in the US, is over 70%. Insurance is of course important (think Katrina).They are just finishing on a very long housing boom. y-o-y house prices are about to turn negative on the dial. Let's wait and see on the UK.

Germany, well you already know what I think. Manufacturing data good, exports up (although the eurozone generally just went into deficit: think oil).Consumption will remain flat (as of course it is in Japan: see Skeptical Speculator), also the possibility of a grand coalition which will be-reform negative (as each party vies for position with the other) just went up.

No, it is in the developing world that you have the sustained growth, and Germany and Japan live from this (and of course the kind efforts of the US consumer).

This forecast from the Asian Development Bank is interesting here:

http://news.ft.com/cms/s/00e4ccc0-200f-11da-853a-00000e2511c8.html

China and India, they are now the other engines that are pulling the train.

Posted by: Edward Hugh | September 08, 2005 at 02:24 AM

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September 06, 2005


Hurricanes and Employment: A Retrospective

The September 1 Wall Street Journal contained an article by David Wessel (page A1in the print edition) that documented average GDP growth over the half-year following quarters in which a major hurricane hit.  This picture sums up the main lesson:

P1ad306b_capital08312005202032

Perhaps unsurprisingly, there is likewise scant evidence of much lasting impact -- if any -- on employment growth following major storms past.  The following set of pictures depict monthly job growth for the top ten most costly U.S. hurricanes (in terms of material damage) since 1954.  The vertical lines identify the month of the event, and the costs are expressed in 2004 dollars.

Diane

Betsy

Camille

Agnes

Hugo

Andrew

Charley

It may turn out, of course, that the scale of Katrina is so far off the map that these historical precedents are not much precedent at all.  Although I'm not entirely sure how anyone can possibly know at this point, at least one analysis has an early estimate in the neighborhood of $100 billion, which would make it twice as much as Andrew, the current record holder (which it itself was well over twice as expensive as any other single storm in the period under examination).  On the other hand, there is the hypothesis -- promoted in today's Wall Street Journal (page A1) by Jon Hilsenrath and Greg Ip -- that the U.S. economy is better suited to withstand major shocks than in the past.

I guess, unfortunately, we will know soon enough.  The best we have now is plenty of informed speculation, from the likes of Brad Setser, Econbrowser, Angry Bear, The Big Picture, The Capital Spectator, The Eclectic Econoclast, Environmental Economics, Peter Gordon's Blog, the NABE blog, and many more.

September 6, 2005 in Katrina, Labor Markets | Permalink

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» On the nature of economic recessions from Econbrowser
What exactly happens in an economic recession, and how much has Katrina increased the likelihood of one developing? [Read More]

Tracked on Sep 8, 2005 12:25:59 AM

Comments

"that the U.S. economy is better suited to withstand major shocks than in the past."

Brad Setser directs our attention to the Economist's Buttonwood who has some discussion of this and related issues. I think the point Buttonwood misses is the issue of whether what the network theorists call a "giant node" is disrupted or not. If this were the case then this would influence the whole shock propagation system.

Brad Setser again is trying - eloquently - to argue that the Lousian port would more or less count as such (my terminology, not his). However important as the port is, it seems very much a focus for 'old economy' activity (ie a lot of kilos to the dollar), and may not be so strategic to the modern economy as it is to trade communications. Obviously though, as well as employment, we should be watching for a current account impact.

On whether the economy is resilient to shocks, I would say this depends *where* in the cycle you are, and what your momentum is. If 09/11 had come just months before the Nasdaq crash its impact would have been very different.

If the US consumer really is stretched to the limit, or if the housing boom really is on the brink of bursting, then the impact of suddenly declining consumer confidence would be very important. My feeling is that neither of these priors hold. There is more juice in the lemon yet. Still, from the 'economists view' this, apart from the terrible human tragedy dimension (we still don't know the death toll), is a very interesting opportunity to put all our theories to the test.

On your trend/cycle type preoccupations, one of the difficulties in assessing the impact will be to separate what is Katrina, and what is a lagged impact of the steadily rising oil prices we've seen this year: ie growth was undoubtedly slowing anyway.

Posted by: Edward Hugh | September 07, 2005 at 03:15 AM

The answer to your question is simply this: Is the damage Katrina inflicted similar in size and scope to prior hurricanes?

I (obviously) feel it did significantly more damage. Beyon d the phyiscial destruction is the disruption of shipping and energy production.

There's a reason NFL surgeons don't rely on theior experience with Pee Wee football injuries to help guide them when working on NFL injuries -- bigger/faster/more damage requires a different thought process and approach.

It is non-linear. I expect it will be a similar issue here . . .

Posted by: Barry Ritholtz | September 14, 2005 at 07:38 AM

I think this employment growth can be expected after hurricanes or other disasters.Then the search for employees becomes bigger.

Posted by: Cara Fletcher | July 11, 2007 at 11:12 AM

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