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Brutal winter has cost the country $50 billion so far

Brutal Winter Costs Economy $50 Billion

The winter you won't soon forget is taking its toll on the US economy -- in a big way.

Bad weather means bad news for retailers, as sales tumbled in January. The storms have cost the country $15 billion in lost productivity, and industrial production was down 0.3 in January. The FED was citing the weather.

It's being called "frozenomics," and the impact of the harshest winter in recent memory is affecting the economy across the board.

First, we had the "polar vortex" in early January. Record cold temperatures literally froze cities across the country.

A few weeks later, a strong winter storm slammed the South. In Atlanta, ice brought economic activity to a standstill. People were stranded on highways for as long as 20 hours.

And now, back-to-back storms in the Northeast have dumped several feet of snow in some places, knocking out power and collapsing roofs.

A new poll conducted by CNBC estimates the total cost to the economy at $50 billion. Retailers were hit hard as auto, furniture and department sales plunged. Job growth also stalled, and an estimated 80,000 jobs were lost because of the bad weather.

... And then there's the airlines. After a strong 2013, they've hit some, well, turbulence.

"Thanks to the brutal winter weather we've been seeing, the highest number of flight cancellations in more than 25 years," NBC reported.

Of course restaurants are also taking big hits.

MSNBC explains that "The food industry is also hurting where restaurant owners can only keep their fingers crossed. When the weather comes in like this, a good probably 75 percent of the business for the day is shot.

There are, of course, some businesses that love the cold weather. Snow plowing operations have been raking it in.

Utility companies have been doing well as people keep turning up the heat, and natural gas prices have soared over the past couple months.

Economists are predicting the next quarter to be much better as the weather improves and consumers are actually able to get out into the world so they can spend some money.

Join the discussion

1000|Char. 1000  Char.
tesla5000 February 16 2014 at 10:26 AM

50 Billion? Each oil company makes that much profit in one quarter.
Instead of filling their bank accounts at everyone's expense, perhaps
they could lower gas prices. Apparently, there is no other reason for
high gas prices other than robbing consumers and the country of
billions and billions of dollars that would otherwise be injected into
economy. Gas prices are the biggest deterrent to economic recovery
facing the world today, for NO REASON OTHER THAN GREED! And
you don't even hear it talked about on the news.

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1 reply
vacarolinasales tesla5000 February 16 2014 at 10:31 AM

The president's plan is to keep gas prices high to force us to drive the type of vehicles he wants everyone to have. The oil companies have bought their futures with contributions, but the real key to energy independence is drill more here so we are not part of the global supply and demand economics. Penalize exports and incentivize using "home oil". Main stream media does not care, it aint sexy.

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1 reply
gibby1208 vacarolinasales February 16 2014 at 10:40 AM

And the mentally challenged continue to prattle on about drilling for oil here, oblivious to the fact that most of the oil that is taken from our soil is sold to other countries.

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kkishb1999 February 16 2014 at 4:20 PM

Blame it on Bush.........Obama would.

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whiteoak February 16 2014 at 4:20 PM

don't wwoorry...Global Warming will solve this problem next winter

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EzinWy February 16 2014 at 4:52 PM

Life isn't always about making or spending - money ...

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3 replies
Buzz February 16 2014 at 5:34 PM

You want me to believe that bad weather has caused individuals to hold 50 Billion and will not spend it within the next few months. NOT

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1 reply
cptsujet Buzz February 16 2014 at 5:52 PM

No. They said lost productivity.

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xomthood February 16 2014 at 5:46 PM

but the pent up $$ will result in a spending spree come the thaw.

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2 replies
cptsujet xomthood February 16 2014 at 5:51 PM


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wlh1923 xomthood February 16 2014 at 6:26 PM

Yeah, and you can keep your insurance plan too

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gudtip February 16 2014 at 5:52 PM

only if there was a way we could send 75% of this snowy weather to California those farmers would be very happy, everyone would win, they would have larger crops and make their money, we would have less cold and snow and we would pay less for our fruits and vegies, okay US Scientists find the ask President Obama to divert some Obamacare money and that would be good for the economy

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NJPACKFAN February 16 2014 at 6:23 PM

So what's the big deal of $50 Billion ? A couple of hours for the FED to print up.....$10 of paper...$15 of ink ? Then the FED gives it to the Wall Street bankers.....they pour it into the stock market......and everyone is happy....right ?

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steve February 16 2014 at 6:27 PM

Damned global warming. Must be a republican to blame.

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diana February 16 2014 at 6:31 PM

alliant gas in Iowa where I live says its average daily cost to heat i 4.76. outragious! I also sumplement with a wood pellet burner and it sure came in handy when we had all those artic freeze days and still burning it.

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