Saturday, December 24, 2011

Economy: Merry X-Mas

Some of us might have already unwrapped our Christmas gifts. Here in New York City we've gotten plenty of sunshine and friendly temperatures (around 40 F, 5C). It has been unusually mild weather since last November and not just on the U.S. east coast. The temperatures in Western Europe are also significantly higher than both last year and the long term average, reports Bloomberg.

This a-typical warm start of the winter could have beneficial effects for the whole economy, a kind of Christmas gift for the stressed economies of the U.S. and Europe.

 "Retail Sales Seen Rising on Nice Weather" headlines Bloomberg (bloomberg). Especially on the U.S. east coast the current retail sales could be much better than last year, because in 2010 a blizzard that began on Christmas closed thousands of stores on the East Coast the next day, when millions of consumers typically make exchanges and redeem gift cards, they tell us. The same is true in the U.K., which has had above-average temperatures and little snow after several blizzards, including one in late December, had hit the country last year, adds Bloomberg.

Other sectors, which are sensitive to weather conditions, could also benefit from the spring-like conditions, including housing starts, construction and home sales. Higher temperature are also dampening the energy demand and could slow the rise of the oil price. Billions of Dollars & Euros could be saved because of the calm winter, which could be spent for shopping, restaurant visits and other consumer activities.

Merry X-mas to everyone.

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