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.

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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."