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Sandy's Impact Already Visible in Sales Data

 November 08, 2012 02:53 PM


Store sales in the US dipped on a YoY basis last week as we see the first effects of Hurricane Sandy on high frequency economic data. The effect is expected to be temporary however.

Econoday: - Hurricane Sandy kept consumers indoors during the November 3 week but made for only a modest 0.2 percent decline in ICSC-Goldman's same-store sales index. But the year-on-year rate shows more effect, at plus 1.4 percent which is down almost in half from the prior week and is the lowest rate since June. But ICSC-Goldman sees a snap-back in the November 10 week as both consumers and retailers begin to resume normal shopping patterns and recover from Sandy's aftermath.
Source: Econoday

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Despite expectations of a quick recovery in sales, the aftermath of this storm may linger for some time. A number of retail businesses in the North East are still struggling, which means that certain areas may take longer to recover.

WWD: - Hurricane Sandy's dramatic impact could make an already-challenging fall season decidedly more difficult for many Northeast retailers.

[Related -A 15-Year Low For Jobless Claims As Consumer Spending Improves]

Days after the storm devastated New York City and much of New Jersey, many storeowners were still struggling to get back to business, as massive power outages, major store and office closures and shipping delays crippled the region.

Moreover, disruptions in the supply chain may impact sales outside the areas hit by the storm.
The Ledger: - The economic effects of Hurricane Sandy are reverberating beyond areas hit by the storm as businesses warn customers of delays, try to get merchandise out of closed ports and face canceled orders.

In addition to shutting down shipping terminals and submerging warehouses, the storm also tangled up deliveries because of downed power lines, closed roads and scarce gasoline in parts of New York and New Jersey.

The supply chain is backing up at a crucial time, just as retailers normally bring their final shipments into stores for the holiday shopping season, which retailers depend on for annual profitability

And unfortunately those who live on the East Coast are looking at another storm - a Nor'easter that may bring snow tomorrow - that could further delay the ongoing recovery efforts.

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