Sandy Already Costing Billions: Everything's Closed

Plus: banks, newspapers temporarily waive fees

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 29, 2012 12:12 PM CDT

(Newser) – Hurricane Sandy is already making a serious dent in the US economy: All kinds of businesses in its path have closed. "Business interruption is the biggest impact, at least until we see what happens in terms of property damage," which could cost some $15 billion, says an analyst. Ultimately, the storm could cause enough damage to shrink the fourth-quarter GDP, CNNMoney reports. And while some lost business will be made up after the storm, other firms won't be able to recoup their losses.

Take restaurants: "You're not going to eat two lunches tomorrow if you don't eat lunch out today." On the other hand, increased pre-storm spending—for flashlights and generators, for instance—could help even things out, notes another economist. Meanwhile, some businesses are offering consumers a hand amid the storm. JPMorgan Chase, for instance, is waiving overdraft and late credit card and loan fees through Wednesday, while Citibank is temporarily eliminating fees for New York City customers using competitors' ATMs, Time reports. And both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal are dropping their paywalls for hurricane coverage, notes Mashable.

One World Trade Center, right, peeks through a light rain as water from the Hudson River creeps up on Pier A Park with the expected arrival of Hurricane Sandy in Hoboken, NJ, Monday, Oct. 29, 2012.
One World Trade Center, right, peeks through a light rain as water from the Hudson River creeps up on Pier A Park with the expected arrival of Hurricane Sandy in Hoboken, NJ, Monday, Oct. 29, 2012.   (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
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