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US weather forecaster gauges economic cost of Harvey, Irma to be US$290b

Hurricane Irma 20249932.jpg
Economists have said the hurricanes will drag down US GDP in the third quarter.

US-BASED weather forecaster AccuWeather has estimated the economic cost from two Category 4 hurricanes that has hit the US to be US$290 billion, or 1.5 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP).

This comprises US$190 billion for Hurricane Harvey, which hit the US last month, and US$100 billion for Hurricane Irma, which is hitting the US this month.

This will "about equal and therefore counter the natural growth of the economy for the period of mid-August through the end of the fourth quarter", said AccuWeather founder Joel Myers.

AccuWeather said economic costs come from disruptions to businesses, increased unemployment rates for weeks and months, damage to transportation and infrastructure, crop losses, increased fuel prices and damage to homes among other things.

Economists have said the hurricanes will drag down US GDP in the third quarter.

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