Will Melting Snow Bring New Revenue?
The extreme winter weather that spread across the country this year has taken a toll on our economy. Consumer spending has been down, traveling decreased, and many people simply had to miss work due to the treacherous roads. The overall economic impact is difficult to measure, but it is significant.
Bad weather keeps consumers in their homes which mean retail stores, automobile lots and other similar businesses have fewer customers. Home sales fell because potential buyers did not want to look at houses during the winter weather. The bad weather also affected factories and construction. With every major storm that hit our country, millions of dollars were lost.
State and local governments are stretching their already burdened budgets to deal with the roadways. It is expensive to clear and maintain roads during the winter. And now that spring is here, state governments are facing pot holes and other damage to roads.
Airlines and airports are also struggling to recover from the thousands of passengers grounded by bad weather. Snow removal, loss of revenue for airport restaurants, decreased parking sales and other lost income has had a significant impact on numerous businesses associated with air travel. It has been estimated that the total cost to passengers, airlines and airports exceeds $6 billion.
A true estimate of the overall hit on the economy from this year’s winter weather will take months to calculate more accurately. In the meantime, let’s hope spring brings an up-tick in the economy along with flowers and showers.
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