Impact of Irma and Harvey Could Cost GDP 1/2 Point in Q3

- Analysists speaking at the FTR Transportation Conference estimated that the United States Gross Domestic Product could face a 0.5% loss in the third quarter of 2017 because of the impact from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Texas and Florida, the regions most devastated by the storms, total nearly 15% of the national economy. Both of the states are also major hubs for the transportation industry, making up roughly seven 7% of daily truck activity. reports that FTR’s senior analyst Noel Perry has estimated that the southwest trucking industry will experience a 25% downtick in volume immediately following the storm that will level out in a few weeks.

“Expect another couple of weeks of tightening from Harvey,” said Perry. “Throw in the Harvey-inspired fuel price hikes and you get 20%-plus jumps in average national spot market pricing.”

In Florida, a consumer-oriented industry, the biggest affects will be felt by vans with consumer goods and flatbeds with wall board. In Texas, on the other hand, a heavier burden upon will be placed upon tank trucks and railcars due to the harm the state’s heavy manufacturing industry faced in the Houston area.

“It doesn’t take long for such regional stress to show up in the national numbers,” Perry stated. “It is certain that Irma will occasion several more weekly jumps.”

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