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The Voice of Reason

Is bad weather "good" for the economy?

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so, I was thinking the other day if all this snow is actually good for the local econemy.

sure, town budgets, and city budgets might be stressed as they deplete rainy day funds etc,

BUT.... people are still shopping, because even though on the day of a storm you might not go shopping, the day before people are "stocking up" and likely buying things they dont need, while the day after people are out buying snow shovels, snow plows ice melt, roof rakes (something people rarely buy)

extra gas is being bought to run snow removal equipment,

tens of thousands of people are making gobs of overtime clearing streets and sidewalks... and likely spending this extra money

auto body places are doing "bang up business"

thousands of people are being opportunistic and plowing driveways and shoveling roofs

contractors are actually working again, maybe if not building homes, but clearing snow is at least work...

heating oil companies and the like are doing bang up business...

structural damage requires repairs generating work for people...

the big loosers are insurance companies, and municipalities, but all things considered, what do you think?

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No. Everyone stays home so it brings commerce and productivity to a standstill.

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No. Everyone stays home so it brings commerce and productivity to a standstill.

how does it bring productivity to a standstill? I know in terms of most operations roles at most compaines, you operate on daily/weekly /monthly deadlines, so the insurance claim must pe processed, on bond sale must be settled by days end, or what have you.

sure people stay home, but they also work from home now, and when back in the office generally work hard to catch up. its not like because the snow comes, e-mails are not answered... ever.

I get it that some work can not be done due to weather like certain construction type jobs, but they make up for it by clearing snow, and getting OT doing so, also the work that was scheduled, (like my insulation work) will have to wait untill snow receds, but will not be canceled. line repair guys are out getting OT repairing lines, plumbers and sparkys are out fixing issues brought about by severe weather...

factories that might lay closed for a day or two hum back to life, and work to catch up to meet the demands of their orders..

how is commerce permanently injured is my question?

onviously, there is a certain point where society might break down, but I have to think in the short term, a large storm can generate a great deal of economic activity

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In no way is this bad weather good for the economy. While people may spend money on the items you mention, they don't spend 10 fold on everything else because everyone stays home, people don't go out. Talk to any business owner and unless they are selling snow shovels or own a plowing business they will tell you the same thing. In addition, it keeps people home from work, cutting down on productivity as mentioned above.

Were you downtown on Wednesday? No restaurants or retail were open and parking lots that are normally full were empty.

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In no way is this bad weather good for the economy. While people may spend money on the items you mention, they don't spend 10 fold on everything else because everyone stays home, people don't go out. Talk to any business owner and unless they are selling snow shovels or own a plowing business they will tell you the same thing. In addition, it keeps people home from work, cutting down on productivity as mentioned above.

Were you downtown on Wednesday? No restaurants or retail were open and parking lots that are normally full were empty.

actually I was. city steam was open, but not important. I suppose a lot of service industry screetches to a halt and is likely not made up in any way, so that surely hurts. but I guarantee my spending for going out has not decreased this january vs last based on the weather. I know it seems like a no brainer, but I bet the results of a proper study would be quite interesting. well interesting enough to read during a blizzard, but not alll that interesting.

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