Sandy Rebuilding Could Spur New Jersey’s Economy [AUDIO]
Sandy has caused untold billions of dollars in damage all over the Garden State, and major rebuilding efforts are being planned in numerous communities up and down the shore.
Rutgers economist James Hughes says, "The full effect of hurricane Sandy on the Jersey economy remains unclear right now but basically for the next several months - November and December - we're going to have a lost economic output…A lot of people can't get to work or their jobs are temporarily shut down."
He says even though there's more work for tree-cutters and other emergency providers.
"There are a number of other sectors that have permanently lost economic output - meals not eaten out and certain services like that. However once the rebuilding process commences - probably next spring, because we're heading into some severe winter weather - we're going to see a jump in economic output."
So, is it possible that efforts to repair the damage from the hurricane will ultimately give the Jersey economy a significant boost?
Hughes says, "It really depends on the ultimate scale of federal aid, the ultimate scale of insurance payments, people's willingness to reinvest that money…The rebuilding is actually a real net positive, and the question is - is that going to be greater than the short term economic loss of output …At this point it's really unclear how the balance sheet is going to work out."