WORST WINTER EVER!!! Ok, maybe it wasn”t the worst winter ever, but it was the coldest winter weather in the last twenty years according to the National Aeronautic and Oceanographic Administration (NOAA). Snowfall was also 21% above normal across the nation.
So it is not surprising that the economy has appeared a little weaker in recent months. People chose to stay inside where it was warm, instead of going out in the cold to the mall. No shock then that retail sales have dropped to the lowest levers since 2009. Cold weather has also boosted heating costs, leaving consumers with generally less spending money for the rest of the budget.
The cold has also affected the job market, halting the trend of payroll gains that was picking up steam last fall. This winter had the third largest impact on jobs of any winter since 1976, with over 6 million people reduced to part-time hours because of the weather. The recent Federal Reserve Beige Book report cited the word “weather” more than it has been mentioned in the previous reports of the last twenty years!
Spring is coming, the snowstorms will soon be over and the weather will be warming. As the weather improves, some pent-up household demand should help heat up consumer spending too. Economists have shown that during past decades when severe winters slow economic activity, the economy rebounds stronger than average in the spring.
Goodbye Winter, Welcome Spring!!!!